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TV Radio Show (November 1969)

"James MacArthur: How He Faces the Problems of a Divorced Father"

He has the same problem as thousands of other men but he has his solution.

One of the most tragic by-products of a divorce (especially a bitter one) is the separation of the children and their father. It seems almost inevitable that a mother retains custody of the children. The father is left to weekends and holidays. There doesn’t seem to be any other way.

In the case of James MacArthur, the problem is compounded by the fact that he works in Hawaii, which is quite a distance from where his children are. They live, during the year, with their mother and his ex-wife, Joyce Bulifant. Jim manages to come back to the mainland during hiatus. He then takes over his share in raising the children.

James MacArthur is the adopted son of Helen Hayes, who recently spent some time with him while she was in Hollywood. Ordinarily, she spends her time in the east in her famous house on the Hudson River. She considers herself retired but recently had one of her greatest Broadway successes in The Show Off.

Also with Jim and the family was Melody Patterson, his more or less steady girl. All in all, it was one big happy family. The children are Charley, who is 8, and Mary, who is 3. They had the time of their lives swimming, cooking out, and visiting.

Jim is very domestic. He loves gardening and cooking. It is a surprise to some people because he seems to be someone who is more interested in sports. His idea of relaxation is planting and mulching and doing all the things one does to make a garden blossom happily.

Jim is very much present in the lives of his children. He is by no means an absentee father, glamorous and seldom seen. He means to be something in their lives.

Whatever he does do, will soon be complicated by the fact that Joyce is remarrying. The children will have the problem of a father at home and one they visit. It could cause a confusion in their minds or render them cynical as so many Hollywood children are. His parents were sensible people. He has acquired the same outlook they had. He will have no problem facing the problems of a divorced father.

Mary MacArthur, James MacArthur

Mary MacArthur, James MacArthur, Joyce Bulifant

Helen Hayes, Melody Patterson, James MacArthur, Charlie MacArthur

James MacArthur, Mary MacArthur

Mary MacArthur, Melody Patterson, James MacArthur

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