The Brady Bunch first aired in 1969 and gave us the perfect suburban family, the Bradys. The Brady Bunch featured adorable children and beautiful adults, but that was way back in the 1970’s. Today, the actors aren’t looking so cute anymore.
They Were Cast By Hair Color
The cast of The Brady Bunch was actually cast by their own natural hair color. The producer of the show, Sherwood Schwartz hired the child actors before the parents, and have a particular view in mind. Schwartz originally wanted to hire three blonde girls, three blonde boys, three brunette girls, and three brunette boys on reserve just in case.
Robert Reed was the first person to be cast and obviously had brown hair at the time of the pilot. Therefore, the girls with blonde hair were officially cast to offset the brown hair of the father and his children.
Cindy’s Lisp Was Completely Real
One main reason adorable Susan Olsen was cast as Cindy was because in real life, she actually had a lisp. Other child actor’s were missing this attribute, and the minute that Sherwood Schwartz heard Olsen’s lisp, he had to cast the child actor.
The lisp was part of the pilot’s storyline where Buddy Hinton teased Cindy on the playground by calling her, “baby talk, baby talk.” But, this lisp didn’t go away until Olsen became an adult. Olsen went to speech therapists until the age of 19 and even then had to undergo surgery to rid her speech of the lisp.
The Show Was Created Out Of A Statistic
The original concept and casting for the show was created from a newspaper statistic. The Los Angeles Times released an article in 1965 stating that 31 percent of all marriages in the United States involved people with children from previous marriages.
The creators of the show believed that the statistic proved that over one-third of the country during this time would be interested and would relate to a show with stepchildren. The original idea for the show was actually turned into the movie, Yours, Mine, and Ours, which promoted the idea of divorced parents finding love. The Brady Bunch was finally approved after the success of the movie.
Florence Henderson played the main character, Carol Brady on the show The Brady Bunch. Florence Henderson was fit, blonde, and seen as the perfect cul de sac mother.
She was a featured contestant on the hit dancing show Dancing With The Stars, which relaunched her career as a media personality. She also hosted the show, The Florence Henderson Show, and Who’s Cooking With Florence Henderson on the Retirement Living TV channel. Sadly, after taking the world by storm, Florence Henderson passed away in November of 2016.
Florence Henderson Was Actually The Second Mrs. Brady
Comedian Joyce Bulifant nearly signed a contract to play the role of Mrs. Brady. She was filmed in various screen tests and with many different potential child actors. Eve Plumb even landed her famous role as Jan because she closely resembled Bulifant. At first, Mrs. Brady was going to be a goofy character, but after Ann B. Davis signed on to play Alice, Schwartz realized she was goofy enough on her own. Florence Henderson got the job because producers thought she would better play the role of a levelheaded mother.
Barry Williams, who played the character of Bobby Brady was a stud during the 1970’s. Bobby Brady was supposed to be the cool hip high schooler who also loyal and a great brother. After the cancellation of the show, Williams went on to test out his theater shoes by performing in traveling tours of shows like Grease, and The Sound of Music. More recently, Barry Williams hosts the Saturday afternoon show The Real Greg Brady’s Totally ’70s Music Celebration! on the Sirius XM channel, “70’s on 7.”
He also sang the national anthem at the NASCAR Sprint Cup, in what some might call, one of the most overdone versions of the song. Barry Williams doesn’t look so studly anymore, but he definitely has aged with grace.
Susan Olsen was just a mere child when she first began filming The Brady Bunch, portraying the adorable Cindy Brady. Olsen had bright blonde hair and pigtails, which made her look like the innocent child we all wanted. Producers were said to have bleached Olsen’s hair so much to make it that color, that by season 2 of The Brady Bunch, Olsen’s hair was falling out. They immediately stopped the bleach and let her angelic hair go natural.
After the show ended, Olsen gave up acting and moved into the graphic art business where she helped launch a marketing campaign for Converse. Olsen most recently appeared in one episode of The Biography Channel’s Celebrity Ghost Stories in 2011. Since, that last appearance, Olsen has been laying on the down low.
Eve Plumb is the actress behind the character of Jan Brady. Jan Brady was always portrayed as the super awkward middle child, and Eve Plumb’s looks reflected that. Plumb wasn’t particularly beautiful or pretty, but had a lanky body and unfortunate curl tendrils. After the end of The Brady Bunch, Plumb went on to use her time on the show to fuel her career for many years. Plumb was featured on shows like The View and The Rosie O’Donnell Show reflecting on her experiences as Jan Brady.
The actress most recently has had guest-starring roles on shows like Law and Order: SVU and the hugely popular show Army Wives. Plumb also sang, along with other Broadway alums, “What The World Needs Now,” at the Democratic National Convention. She was a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
Christopher Knight is more famous for his reality television appearances than his portrayal of Peter Brady on The Brady Bunch. The innocence of Peter Brady was ruined when Christopher Knight joined the cast of Vh1’s fourth season of The Surreal Life. Audiences were captivated by Knight’s drinking habits and his up and down relationship with former America’s Next Top Model Star and winner Adrianne Curry.
The two gained so much popularity that Vh1 gave them their own show, which followed their domestic life called My Fair Brady. Unfortunately, the couple is now divorced after Curry announced their separation on a G4 appearance. It seems that Christopher Knight’s reality stardom is winding down and he can enjoy being a regular civilian.
Maureen McCormick played the role of Marcia Brady and was everyone’s 1970s dream girl. McCormick was represented as the pretty girl and the eldest sister who literally could do no wrong. After the cancellation of The Brady Bunch, McCormick went on to release four studio albums, which didn’t hit it big on the charts. Even though she had mild success after the show, McCormick struggled with her own personal demons.
The actress was said to have severe depression, bulimia, and drug addiction to cocaine. In 2008, McCormick released the tell-all book entitled, Here’s The Story: Surviving Marcia Brady And Finding My True Voice, which detailed the struggles of fame at such a young age and coping with losing stardom. The actress has laid low, trying to cure her drug and depression issues.
Robert Reed played the character of Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch and ended up having a critically acclaimed career. Mike Brady was the ultimate American father, who liked football and helping out his kids. But, Robert Reed kept up appearances playing the role of husband, when in real life the actor was a part of the LGBTQ community.
After the cancellation of the show, Reed starred in the iconic and legendary miniseries Roots, for which he won himself an Emmy nomination. Sadly, Robert Reed died from colon cancer, which became worse from being HIV positive. The actor is remembered for being lovable, gentle, and an amazing man on set of The Brady Bunch.
Mike Lookinland’s main contribution to Hollywood is his portrayal of the character of Bobby Brady on the show The Brady Bunch. Bobby Brady was a brash little boy, with buck teeth whom America fell in love with. But, after the cancellation of The Brady Bunch, it seemed like Lookinland’s career was going down the tubes. Lookinland spent several years working behind the camera as a television camera operator on the show Growing Up Brady.
After this stint, Lookinland completely gave up show business and decided to start his own decorative concrete business in Salt Lake City, Utah. His life is still adorable though! Lookinland and his wife Kelly Wermuth have been married since 1987, and have two sons together, Scott and Joe.
Robbie Rist made his name in the business by playing the super adorable Cousin Oliver on the cult classic television show, The Brady Bunch. After the end of his childhood and the series The Brady Bunch, Rist made a living by doing voice over acting. Rist worked as one of the voice actors for the movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as the voice of Michelangelo.
Rist’s voice is also used for Choji Akimichi on the cult classic anime Naruto. Today, Rist is currently working for Disney as the voice of Stuffy on the ever popular Doc McStuffins. But, Robbie Rist is still proud of his humble beginnings! Throughout 2016, Rist was promoting The Brady Bunch on MeTv.
Alan Melvin, who played Alice’s boyfriend Sam the Butcher on The Brady Bunch was already a huge actor when the show first aired. Melvin appeared on famous television shows like Gomer Pyle, USMC, and The Phil Silvers Show. Melvin’s Sam the Butcher character was the perfect representation of what a loving boyfriend should be.
After the end of the show, Melvin became a regular on the spinoff of All in The Family entitled, Archie Bunker’s Place. Unfortunately, in 2008 Allan Melvin became increasingly sick with cancer and died the same year. The actor lived to the ripe old age of 84.
Ann B. Davis
Ann B. Davis played the fan favorite character Alice the maid on the ABC show The Brady Bunch. Davis had already won two primetime Emmy’s for her work on the comedy show, The Bob Cummings Show before the premier of The Brady Bunch. The character of Alice was a scatter brained, yet fun-loving maid, and Davis played the part perfectly. Even though most of her work came before The Brady Bunch, Davis turned to theater work after the cancellation of the show.
The actress starred in the stage version of Arsenic and Old Lace, while also being a part of a world tour version of Crazy for You in the 1990’s. Ann B. Davis recently passed away on June 1, 2014 after complications with treatment after falling in her bathroom.
Barry Williams Used To Do Drugs
Barry Williams definitely has changed when it comes to what he now considers adventure. During his time on the show, Barry Williams went through a drug experimentation time and even smoked marijuana before filming. Once when Williams was “letting loose” with some green, the show called him to tell him that he was needed on set.
It soon became obvious to everyone around him that something was wrong with his temperament, and he was asked to leave the set. The writers were furious, and the entire episode was changed due to William’s inability to pronounce his line.
There were many guest stars that appeared on The Brady Bunch, but none were as attractive as Joe Namath. Joe Namath appeared on the episode, “Mail Order Hero,” which was a story about how Bobby faked an illness to meet Joe Namath in order to show off to his friends. Joe Namath at the time was an AFL icon, who played most of his career with the New York Jets. Namath won one Superbowl and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Many critics state that Namath is one of the 100 best football players of all time and definitely in New York Jet’s history. Joe Namath has recently become infamous for his drinking and alcohol addiction. The former player has been treated in rehab and has talked about his addiction battle in his autobiography Namath.
Davy Jones is known for being the lead singer of the 1960s and 1970s hit band, The Monkees. Davy Jones appeared on The Brady Bunch during “Getting Davy Jones.” Davy Jones was a teen idol during this time period of history, and Marcia Brady was his biggest fan. Apart from his cameo on The Brady Bunch, Davy Jones was the lead singer of the pop band The Monkees from 1966 to 1971. The band had their own hit television series called, The Monkees, and were famous for being teen heart throbs.
After the Monkees broke up, Jones opened his own hippie store called Zilch in Greenwich Village and got heavily into owning and breeding horses. Sadly, Jones was riding his horse one morning and began to feel chest pains and discomfort in breathing. Jones died of a severe heart attack on February 29, 2012.
Natalie Schafer is best known for playing Mrs. Hale on the show, Gilligan’s Island, but did make a cameo appearance on The Brady Bunch. The guest star made a small cameo on the show but was mainly known for her own contributions to Gilligan’s Island. The actress also was featured on shows like The Beverly Hillbillies, I Love Lucy, and even Three’s Company.
The actress is also known for keeping her true age hidden from many of her friends and fans. Schafer is known to have used the year 1912 as her birth year to get parts on television shows, when in fact her birthday was in the year of 1900. The actress sadly passed away after a full life, at the age of 90 from liver cancer.
Marion Ross is one of the greatest character actors of our generation. Marion Ross is best known for playing the mother Marion Cunningham on the ABC television sitcom Happy Days. Ross made a cameo appearance on the show The Brady Bunch playing a minor character. Recently, the actress has appeared on the cult television show Gilmore Girls playing various characters, including the hateful grandmother called Trix.
Marion Ross is now living in a small community outside of San Diego, California and has two adult sons. Her one son is actively involved in show business as a small time actor and her daughter was a writer and producer who worked on the NBC show Friends.
Vincent Price is the king of horror, so it seems strange that he would ever make an appearance on the family friendly show The Brady Bunch. Vincent Price made his name in show business for starring in horror movies such as The Pit and The Pendulum, The Raven, and the first adaptation of I Am Legend.
The character he played on The Brady Bunch was an angry archaeologist with a haunting voice. His last significant work was playing the creator and the scientist in the Johnny Depp and Tim Burton classic, Edward Scissorhands. Sadly Vincent Price, from lung cancer due to his long-time smoking habit in 1993.