With their white picket fence and perfectly synchronized moves, The Brady Bunch seemed like the picture-perfect family on the iconic sitcom from 1969 until 1974.
However, when the show ended, this peppy TV family’s carefully hidden secrets were revealed. Here are 23 of the biggest secrets you probably didn’t know about The Brady Bunch cast.
The producer and creator of the hit show, Sherwood Schwartz, embarked on the ultimate quest to find child actors who looked so alike it would appear believable that they were related.
Schwartz interviewed over 464 boys and girls until he found the perfect actors and actresses to play the roles of the Brady children.
During the show, Carol’s maiden name was revealed, and it was Tyler. However, when she was got married to Mike her name was changed to Carol Martin.
This sneaky ploy was likely done deliberately to help support the idea that Carol was actually divorced, not widowed.
We’re talking about divorce! It was a very taboo idea during the decade when the show aired. In fact, it was so taboo that the network didn’t approve of Schwartz making Carol’s character a divorcee.
Instead, she was made a widow similar to Mike whose wife passed away. As a way to get back at the network, Carol’s ‘deceased’ husband was never mentioned throughout the series.
It became a popular theme among TV programs during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s to feature widowed parents. However, The Brady Bunch was actually criticized for taking this controversial concept just a tad too far.
When you think about it, it really is quite sad to think that two sets of four children lost one of their parents.
Robert Reed was allegedly quite the hooligan and caused problems on the set frequently. Schwartz even wrote Reed out of the show’s finale because the two got into a heated argument over a ‘ridiculous’ scene.
Ultimately, Schwartz never threw Reed off of the set because he didn’t want to do it in front of the children.
Despite his rocky personal relationship with Sherwood Schwartz, there was no denying Reed’s talents as an actor as he truly embodied the character of Mike Brady.
So much, in fact, that Mike Brady was named one of the greatest TV dads of all time in 2004 by TV Guide.
There’s a reason why Robert Reed was such a diva and difficult guy to work with after all! As it turns out, Reed was a classically-trained actor who graduated from the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Art in London.
Before landing the role as Mike Brady, Reed starred in the critically-acclaimed legal drama The Defenders.
Florence Henderson, who played the sweet and caring mother on The Brady Bunch, had a way less than wholesome upbringing. Growing up, Henderson was extremely poor and the youngest out of 10 children.
With a father who loved to drink too much, Florence was lucky to have a mother who was determined to give her a better life and attributes that to her professional success.
Not so long ago, Barry Williams was dealing with different kinds of problems as he was caught up in a fierce court battle with his ex-girlfriend.
Williams supposedly owed child support to his ex-girlfriend in the rough amount of $12,000-a-month. Let’s all hope Williams was putting those Brady Bunch checks is his savings account.
While Florence Henderson seemed like a happy wife and mother playing Carol Brady during the show, in reality her marriage was not as happy as the public was made to think.
Henderson decided to turn her life around in 1984 by divorcing her husband and has since become a well-known relationship therapist.
When two sisters are involved, there’s bound to be drama and jealousy, especially if one is easier on the eyes. Maureen McCormick played the gorgeous older sister Marcia, whereas Eve Plumb played Jan, the not-so-gorgeous younger sister.
The baby sister, Susan Olsen, revealed that the tension between the two was intense and there was a serious rivalry between the two girls.
Remember cute little Cindy? Well, she grew up to be a farmer! Susan Olsen admitted that although she and her ex-husband were gardeners, she didn’t like partaking in taking in the green substances that they were growing as it made her paranoid.
Instead, she preferred making them into truffles and chocolate bars. She is a creative woman in that regard, that is for sure.
According to The Brady Bunch star Susan Olsen, Maureen McCormick had a guilty pleasure of shoplifting for fun. One time, Maureen McCormick and her friend Susan Cowsill got busted while they were out on one of their sprees.
Maureen McCormick hid in a car while Cowsill took the rap for the whole ordeal!
There was a rumor on set that Greg Brady actor Barry Williams, who played the eldest brother, had a crush on his on-screen mother.
Williams was attracted to Henderson and actually wanted to go out with her. Florence Henderson refused William’s advances for the sake of the show and thank goodness for that!
Greg Brady may have been a stud muffin on the show as he dated lots of girls over the years, but sadly, his lips went kiss-less for the entire show.
To make matters worse, not only did the eldest of The Brady Bunch siblings not score but Bobby, the baby of the family, was the only child to feature in a kissing scene.
Showing a couple sleeping in the same bed on TV was a very big deal back in the day, Most people think The Brady Bunch was the first TV series to show a couple in bed, but that’s not exactly true.
The first TV couple to ever be filmed in bed together was Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns in the late 1940s sitcom Mary Kay and Johnny.
Surprisingly enough, The Brady Bunch wasn’t always a hit. Due to low ratings in the beginning, the show was only renewed for thirteen episodes at a time.
The last season finally proved to be worth a whole season at once and has become one of the most watched American sitcoms of all time.
Because the ratings during the beginning of the show were so low, the actors and actresses weren’t compensated very well at all.
Not only were the actors not paid well, but in the 1970’s they were also forced by ABC to pay to park on their lot!
As the show’s ratings continued to plummet, the network insisted that Sherwood Schwartz bring in a fresh, younger character to save the show, which was why Cousin Oliver was brought on during the last season.
The term ‘Cousin Oliver’ is still used today in Hollywood to refer to a character that is brought on to save a failing show.
There was an ongoing joke that the Brady’s were so wholesome and clean that they didn’t even need a toilet! Although that’s funny, the truth is that in all of the bathroom scenes you’ll never see a toilet.
Allegedly, the network didn’t want the porcelain john in the shot. Also, it supposedly violated regulations and whatnot.
It was a sad day for The Brady Bunch when Tiger, the beloved family dog, was killed in a tragic car accident. A replacement pooch was never brought on the cast, but the doghouse remained in the yard for the entire series.
It covered up a burn spot on the AstroTurf caused by a studio light that had fallen.
Most of the episodes of The Brady Bunch were based on a specific character’s trials and triumphs, but for some reason, Carol Brady missed out!
The matriarch of the bunch was the only main character that didn’t land an episode named after her or based on her.
Anyone who has grown up in the suburbs knows how important neighbors can be. The Brady’s neighbors, the Ditmeyer family, lived next door to the Brady’s, but Mr. Ditmeyer only appeared in one episode.
What’s even more, is that Mr. Ditmeyer’s appearance lasted a mere five seconds. If you blinked, then you probably missed him.
Even though the Brady home featured a sliding glass door, it never really had any glass in it.
While you can see the infamous sliding door in numerous scenes over the years, the glass was always purposely removed to prevent glares on camera from lighting during filming.
Kids do grow up fast, and in the case of the Brady kids they had a long time away from the camera to develop – a year to be exact! From the pilot episode to the second episode, the kids looked like they had practically grown overnight.
This is because a full year had passed between the shooting of the two episodes.
Originally, Sherwood Schwartz wanted to call the show The Brady Brood instead of The Brady Bunch.
We’re glad for the sake of the show that this was overruled. Sorry, Schwartz!
When the show’s theme song was recorded for the first season professionals, singers were hired to sing the opener. However, things changed in the second season and the child actors got to sing the theme song themselves.
The lyrics were also changed from the third person to the second person in order for it all to make sense. Sherwood Schwartz can be given all the credit for writing the catchy theme song, too.
Gene Hackman was originally supposed to play the patriarch of the Brady clan, Mike Brady. This would have been a great opportunity for him as he wasn’t a very popular actor at the time.
In the end, Sherwood Schwartz went with Robert Reed, and we wouldn’t have changed a thing!
Any avid Brady Bunch fan would remember that the Brady address as 4222 Clinton Way and their phone number was 762-0799.
Although everyone knew the family lived in California, the show never mentioned an exact city.
The beautiful Brady Bunch house is located at 11222 Dilling Street in Studio City, California. The owners, however, have apparently had enough of the fame because once the series ended, they put up a fence and planted heavy shrubbery around the property to give themselves some more privacy.
They also refused offers from the crew to film the future The Brady Bunch movies.
And we’re not talking about the hand clapping game! Part of the interview process included a test by Schwartz to see if the children would be able to concentrate on set.
During the interview, Schwartz would put toys on his desk, and if the children focused on him instead of the toys, it was a sign that they would also be able to focus while filming.
Lucille Ball basically deserves all the credit for the sitcom The Brady Bunch as her film Yours, Mine and Ours from 1968 was the direct inspiration for the TV series.
Thankfully, Ball didn’t mind and was actually flattered; this meant that the planning and eventual execution of the show could continue.
Christopher Knight tried to make his fame last longer by being on the reality TV show, My Fair Brady, with America’s Next Top Model winner Adrianne Curry.
Knight proposed to Curry in the finale episode. The couple got married in 2006 but divorced in 2013.
It was very important to the show for the Brady Bunch family to look cohesive. Many don’t know that Mike Lookinland’s hair was actually blonde before shooting.
He had to dye his hair to match the cast’s hair color. Later on, in the reunion shows, Bobby was back to his natural blonde hair.
The day Florence Henderson came on to the set of The Brady Bunch to do her screen test, there were no makeup artists on set.
She decided to go over to the shared studio where Star Trek was filming to get her makeup done. She sat between William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, but both actors didn’t talk to her.
Barry Williams, who played the role of Greg Brady, actually did his own surfing in season four when the family went to Hawaii.
In one of the scenes, Greg really did hurt himself after wiping out near some rocks. He injured himself causing filming to be postponed until he was healed.
During the entire run of the series, Florence Henderson begged producers to allow her character, Carol Brady, to be able to get out in the workforce, as it was more in line with who she was in real life.
Ultimately the producers kept Carol Brady unemployed, but she frequently participated in volunteer work and charity fundraising.
It pays to have friends in high places, and in this case, parents. Sherwood Schwartz’s daughter Hope Juber was credited on the show as Hope Sherwood after making four guest appearances on the series.
Juber appeared in the episodes, The Slumber Caper (1970), The Big Bet (1972), Greg Gets Grounded (1973), and The Hair-Brained Scheme (1974).
In the pilot episode, The Brady Bunch: The Honeymoon, the Brady girls had an orange cat named Fluffy.
Unfortunately, Fluffy has never seen again after that episode and was instead replaced by Tiger, the dog. Heartbreaking, we know.
The Brady family may have been famous for their squeaky-clean image and goody-two-shoes characters, but in the episode, “Goodbye, Alice, Hello,” it was considered too racy to be shown in its entirety when you see a different side of the clan.
In the scene which got edited out, Bobby and Cindy are standing in the kitchen wearing just robes pleading with Alice to go to a skinny-dipping party. Alice says no Brady kid will attend “some x-rated party in their birthday suit” if she can help it.
Christopher Knight, who played Peter, is the only Brady Bunch cast member who had brown eyes.
He didn’t seem to mind much, though, as he was known to get along well with all his cast mates.
Shortly before the episode “The Subject of Noses” aired in 1973, actress Maureen McCormick injured her nose in a car accident which led to the creation and writing of the episode.
The name of Cindy’s favorite doll on the show was Kitty Karry-All.
Cindy loved the doll so much the two were literally attached at the hip! There was nowhere she went without her trusty companion.
At one point or another, most of the cast had braces on the show. Mike Lookinland, Susan Oleson, Eve Plumb, and Maureen McCormick all had braces on the show.
There was even an episode called “Brace Yourself” about Marcia getting braces, and it was quite entertaining.
In the show, Robert Reed’s name was Mike Brady, and Mike Lookinland’s name was Robert Brady.
Their stage names were a play on words of their names in real life and flip-flopped for the series.
The Brady Bunch was the first TV show to ever portray a blended family.
Although this was controversial, it proved to be a success with viewers all over the world.