The Courtship of Eddie’s Father

The Courtship of Eddie's Father

“People, let me tell you ’bout my best friend…”

The idyllic sitcoms of the 60s rarely presented the struggles of single parents raising children. Perhaps that’s why The Courtship of Eddie’s Father still resonates with viewers after all these years. Debuting in 1969, the series didn’t achieve the same syndication love as its fellow sitcoms from the era, but enough so to maintain a legion of fans who considered the title character to be their fantasy father figure.

The Courtship of Eddie’s Father was based on a 1963 book written by Mark Toby, which was made into a feature film the same year. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, the film starred Glenn Ford as the father, Ron Howard as his son, and Mrs. Partridge herself, Shirley Jones, as the next door neighbor. Six years later, the show debuted on ABC.

In the television series, Bill Bixby starred as Tom Corbett, a magazine publisher and widower trying to raise his son Eddie, while simultaneously maintaining a career. Tom always found his personal life to be a little bit complicated, because Eddie was always trying to play matchmaker and set him up with the neighborhood’s available women. All single dads should be so lucky.

Tina Rickles portrayed Tom’s secretary, and other characters on the show included Mrs. Livingston, the Corbetts’ Japanese housekeeper, and Norman Tinker, the swinging art director for Tom’s magazine. Jodie Foster occasionally popped up as Joey Kelly, a friend of Eddie’s as well as many other rising celebrities such as Sally Struthers, George Takei, and Pat Morita.

The show ran for just under three seasons on ABC. Co-star James Komack also produced the show and would go on to create such beloved television shows as c, Chico and the Man and Welcome Back Kotter. One of the most fondly remembered parts of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father is its theme song, “Best Friend” written and performed by none other than Harry Nilsson, who sadly never released it as a single.

Thanks to a cult status that developed over the years, there has been talk over the years of a feature-film or series reboot of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, but neither has made it past the planning stages. Thankfully, all three seasons of this charming series are available on DVD, keeping The Courtship of Eddie’s Father alive for generations to come.

If you were a fan of this father/son sitcom, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your favorite memories from The Courtship of Eddie’s Father with all of us in our comments section below.

2 Responses to “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”

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  1. Souvien says:

    Y”know this really aught to mention “Courtship” was derived from the 1963 film of the same name with Glenn Ford as the Dad, Ron Howard as Eddie and the future Mrs. Partridge, Shirley Jones, as the smoking hot neighbor…

    • eric says:

      You make a good point! We have updated the article to include this information. Thanks for the request. :)

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