The classic 1968 movie Yours, Mine & Ours was the real-life story about a large blended family. Henry Fonda was Frank Beardsley, a widower with 10 children, and Lucille Ball played Helen, a widow with 8 of her own.
The movie covers many of the challenges that came along with their marriage, starting with the most pressing: finding a house big enough to hold their family of 20. (I mean, can you imagine?)
I loved the big old Victorian the Beardsleys buy and fix up in Yours, Mine & Ours and was excited to learn it was filmed at a real house in Pasadena, California. Not only that, but when I tracked it down, I found it has been beautifully restored. It’s a real knock-out now. Take a look!
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“Yours, Mine & Ours:” Who Gets the Drumstick?
Helen Beardsley wrote Who Gets the Drumstick? (Amazon affiliate link) about her family:
“A Story of a Widow and Widower Who Met, Fell in Love, and Lived Happily Ever After.”
Lucille Ball co-produced the movie based on Beardsley’s book with her company, Desilu Productions.
The film became a surprise smash hit, grossing over $17 million.
Frank Beardsley (Fonda) says this in the movie about the day they moved into the old Victorian:
They filmed the exterior shots at the Blankenhorn-Lamphear house in Pasadena.
The interiors were sets on a soundstage.
In reality, Frank Beardsley added onto his house, and Helen North sold hers and moved in with her kids.
The Victorian was a Hollywood addition. His house was much more modern than this one.
The movie had three other working titles that they were considering:
The Beardsley Story, Full House, and His, Hers, and Theirs.
Every morning the family goes through 5 lbs of bacon, 3 dozen eggs, and 40 pieces of toast:
Making all those lunches for school is no easy task, either…
Ball and Fonda briefly dated when they were younger.
Jane Fonda told Barbara Walters in an interview her father was once in love with Lucille Ball, but that
she didn’t reciprocate his feelings. She said they were “very close” during the filming of “Yours, Mine and Ours.”
Van Johnson played Frank’s navy buddy Darrell Harrison:
Lucille Ball reportedly became close to the Beardsley family in real life after purchasing the rights to
Helen’s book. She even took their family to Disneyland.
The story of how Helen and Frank met was a little different in real life:
After Helen moved to San Francisco, she wanted to honor her dead husband’s wishes by enrolling her children in parochial school. She finally found a school run by a nun, Mother Superior Sister Mary Eleanor.
As she was enrolling her children in the school, Helen told Sister Mary that she was a widow with eight children. Sister Mary then confided to Helen that she has a brother with ten children who recently lost his wife to complications from diabetes. Helen asked Sister for Frank Beardsley’s address and she sent Frank a copy of a prayer that she clipped out which gave comfort on dealing with a loss of a spouse.
When a friend’s husband died, Helen wanted to send her a copy of the prayer that she sent Frank. She wrote to Frank asking for a copy of the prayer. Frank sent it back and a correspondence began between Helen and Frank.
They used the real names of the Beardsley children in the movie, although they changed the age order.
Frank used skills he learned in the Navy to keep his family organized, like this chart:
Bunk beds helped them fit more kids into each of the bedrooms:
Their wedding night doesn’t go quite as planned…
The Upstairs Hallway:
One of my favorite moments is when the doctor (Tom Bosley) slides down the banister like a kid:
The interior double front doors are a pretty good match for the ones we saw in the exterior shots:
The oldest son, Mike, was played by Tim Matheson.
He and Jennifer Leak, who played his sister Colleen, got married shortly after the movie came out.
Decorating the Living Room for Christmas:
It takes a big mantel to hold all those stockings!
Although the kids are upset that their parents are getting married and plan to adopt them all in the movie,
it was the opposite in real life.
And Frank and Helen didn’t keep their children a secret from each other in the beginning, either.
In fact, Helen brought 5 of her kids to Frank’s house on their first date (!!) and they became immediate friends.
They urged their parents to marry and go through with the adoption.
On Christmas morning, Helen gets a phone call from her doctor with the news that she’s pregnant.
Which was truly a Christmas miracle since Lucille Ball was in her late ’50s at the time she filmed it.
The real Helen and Frank Beardsley had two children together: Joe and Helen.
Yours, Mine & Ours was remade in 2005 with Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo:
I’ve had a lot of people write me about that one, asking if it was the same house from Father of the Bride:
Nope! Although there are definite similarities.
The Yours, Mine & Ours remake was actually filmed at the same house we saw in Mr. & Mrs. Smith:
The Yours, Mine & Ours House Today
The original Yours, Mine & Ours house was in pretty bad shape when the Beardsleys moved into it.
I wonder what they’d think if they could see it now:
It was also used in the 1999 movie “Teaching Mrs. Tingle” but looked very different then,
painted blue and surrounded by mature bushes, hedges, and trees
(Visit Iamnotastalker to see her post about it):
According to Trulia, the house was built in 1901 and has 6 bedrooms + 2 baths.
The 3,000 square-foot home was on the market in 2017 for $2.2 million.
The listing said:
The Foster/Blankenhorn home is an enduring icon of turn of the century Pasadena grandeur sensitively updated & peppered w/ whimsical modern surprises.
Throughout the years this stunning Queen Anne Victorian has sheltered an eclectic mix of distinguished people including a railroad baron, a professional golfer and a celebrity radio DJ.
Visually captivating from the street, this grand dame deliciously mixes gabled, hipped and conical forms w/ clapboard siding & a wrap around porch for maximum impact at 1st impression.
Lauded as ”perhaps the most outstanding example of Victorian architecture still standing” by the Pasadena Star News, this estate made its big screen debut in Lucille Ball’s 1968 blockbuster ”Yours, Mine and Ours.”
It’s dramatic redwood staircase, 11′ ceilings & round turret rooms are just some of the interior charms.
“The Brady Bunch” came out shortly after Yours, Mine & Ours,
and many people thought it was inspired by the movie:
In fact, the Yours, Mine & Ours producers threatened to sue Sherwood Schwartz for stealing their concept,
but he’d been trying to sell the idea for the show for years and had the notes to prove it.
I wrote about the real-life Brady Bunch house and
how HGTV remodeled it to look like the sets on the show here:
Does a movie like Yours, Mine & Ours make you wish you had a BIG family and lived in a rambling old Victorian?
Or maybe make you glad that you don’t? 😉
P.S. Visit Houses Onscreen to the others I’ve featured, like Full House (it’s for sale!):
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