What's That Ghost in the Background in Three Men and a Baby?

YouTube / YouTube

by Simon Brew

It was Mr Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, who landed in the director's chair for the 1987 smash hit comedy, Three Men and a Baby. A remake of the French film Trois Hommes et un Couffin, Nimoy's take brought together Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, and Tom Selleck, and took in more than $167 million at the box office, which was enough to make it the highest grossing film of the year. 

Yet the film's most enduring legacy is the urban legend surrounding

a ghostly figure that appears in the background of one of its scenes.

You can see him in this clip, hiding behind the curtain, just a few seconds in...

The story went that it was the ghost of a boy who had committed suicide. And that the gun he had used to commit the act was in the movie, too. It didn't take long for that rumor to catch on.

When the story first spread, it led to a run on video rentals for the film, so there was little incentive for anyone to debunk it. As it turns out, though, there's a logical explanation for this one. And, no, it doesn't involve a ghost.

The scene here was shot on a Toronto sound stage, and the figure that you're seeing is Ted Danson. More to the point, it's a cardboard cutout of Danson that was made for the movie as a prop. The storyline concerning that prop never made the final cut of the film itself, but the cutout did.

It would be fair to say that the single piece of cardboard helped make Disney many millions more dollars. A trick that would have been worth repeating on 1990's undercooked follow-up, Three Men and a Little Lady.

See more movie urban legends right here.