The 70s sitcom, “The Brady Bunch” swept through the nation following its release, easily becoming one of the most-viewed shows on television. However, several happenings went down behind the scenes, which depicts the picture perfect on screen family in a new light.
Viewers would agree that the Bradys from the 70s movie “The Brady Bunch,” were just too perfect for a typical blended family. With their equal number of kids, gender pairing, sibling bond, impactful experiences, and picture-perfect parents, what could possibly go wrong?
The simple answer to that is “everything!” And things did go wrong, at least off the screen. From co-star rivalry and unfathomable romantic pairings to secret make-out sessions and casting conflicts. The list is endless.
Yet, the show’s penchant for painting the clan as the definition of perfection made it a norm for most of these behind-the-scenes occurrences to go overlooked.
Gladly, several “The Brady Bunch” cast members have stepped forward over the years to spill some of these corny details that prove the Bradys were not so perfect after all. Beware, this list could ruin your childhood memories and favorite movie collection.
1. Williams Filmed An Episode High
Set in the typical 60s/70s era, the Sherwood Schwartz-produced sitcom followed the lives of the Bradys, a blended family of six children.
The bunch of three boys and three girls were forced to live together as a family in the now-iconic “Brady Bunch” house, following the marriage of their parents, Mike Brady (dad to all the boys) and Carol Martin, a mom of three daughters.
Notably, Greg Brady, played by actor Barry Williams, was the oldest of the Brady boys, and often an exemplary figure on the show.
While his onscreen siblings and tons of teenagers in real life idolized him, Williams wasn’t exactly proud of his conduct.
He once admitted to filming an episode of the sitcom while high on marijuana. According to him, the producers called him out of the blues while hanging with friends. He had to turn up despite being relatively stoned.
Thankfully, he managed to film that day without flopping visibly. But he still regrets his actions, which he relieves every time the episode, “Law and Disorder” comes on air.
2. Robert Reed Hid His Sexuality
Throughout the five seasons of the series, fans kept rooting for the Mike and Carol roleplayers to connect in real life. Imagine their disappointment upon discovering those were only wishful thinking because Robert Reed was into men.
Notably, for fear that revealing his sexuality would negatively impact his career, the beloved on-screen husband and father kept it a secret. Eventually, the late star’s double life forced him into a shell of anger, frustration and suffering, witnessed by those around him.
3. Williams And McCormick Dated
While viewers envied the beautiful bond between the Brady siblings, Greg Marcia included, the bunch didn’t exactly consider themselves siblings.
In her 2008 memoir, “Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice,” McCormick, who played Marcia, admitted to dating her on-screen brother in real life.
Her moment of reckoning came one day when she stopped in her tracks to ask herself what she was doing kissing her brother. Yikes!
4. Williams And Henderson Kind Of Dated
Florence Henderson may have been his onscreen stepmom and 20 years his senior, but it didn’t stop Williams from having the hots for her.
At sixteen, the Greg Brady role player asked the then-36-year-old on a date, without caring she was happily married and had four kids. His intentions: To spend time with her and perhaps put his exploding hormones to rest.
Henderson obliged the teenager agreeing to one date while keeping it on a professional level. But things blew out of proportion when news broke that the duo was having an affair. The actress’ good intentions would go on to haunt her for the rest of her career.
5. Susan Olsen And Mike Lookingland Had A Thing
The youngest of the Bradys, dubbed sweet Cindy, had some not-so-sweet moments behind the scenes with her onscreen brother Bobby Brady.
During a 2015 interview, the Cindy roleplayer Susan Olsen went candid about her secret moments on set when she was only nine. She admitted to hooking up with Mike Lookingland, who played the youngest Brady boy.
The pair admittedly used to sneak around and have steamy make-out sessions in the doghouse. In her defense, the former child star explained they all led a sheltered life on-set, which made it inevitable for each young actor to crush on their opposite cast member.
Like her, the rest of the brood also hooked up with their opposites, putting their onscreen sibling bond aside.
6. McCormick Turned To Drugs After The Show
The beautiful, outgoing, cheerleading first daughter of the clan was indeed an epitome of perfection. That quality is far-off from McCormick’s real-life persona.
Following her run on the show, the actress went wild, admittedly falling prey to coke and quaaludes. Her addiction took the better part of her, so much that she began sleeping with her dealer in exchange for a fix.
Ultimately, she lost her reputation as a revered actress and could hardly keep her head up career-wise until she broke free from addiction in the eighties.
7. Henderson Dealt With Marital Hardships
Florence Henderson enjoyed a beautiful marriage on-screen, earning her the envy of many. But her off-screen relationships were far from perfect.
Notably, she spent most of her life battling depression, which only worsened as she faced one relationship challenge over another.
After enduring an unhappy marriage to first husband Ira Bernstein, she divorced him, ending up in the arms of hypnotherapist John Kappas, two years later.
Impressively, none of her battles seeped into the show or rubbed off on her picture-perfect onscreen family.
8. Sibling Rivalry
The rivalry between Marcia and her immediate younger sister Jan, played by Eve Plumb in the movie is no news to “The Brady Bunch” viewers.
However, what many never expected was that the onscreen sisters would become enemies off the screen. Olsen once revealed that her two onscreen older sisters never saw eye to eye.
Throughout the show’s filming, they remained in a heated competition which morphed into something fiercer as the years progressed. Notably, the feud between the duo once led to the cancellation of a pre-scheduled “Brady Bunch” reunion appearance.
9. Conflicts On Set
Everyone on “The Brady Bunch” always appeared with their adorable smiles depicting the sweet family in every episode. Yet, these casts often butt heads just minutes before going on air but managed to keep that out of the cameras.
One major culprit in these behind-the-scenes conflicts was Robert Reed. The actor, who passed away in 1992 notably disagreed with many of the movie’s storylines.
This often led him to butt heads with producer Schwartz, mostly because he wanted more serious scenes. While the producer believed him to be a good actor, the continuous conflicts forced him to write Reed off the show’s final episode.
Notwithstanding, Reed showed up on set for the filming anyway, and the producer kicked him out. Turns out no character is indispensable after all.
10. They Earned So Little
Contrary to the millions of dollars earned by actors today for appearing in a hit movie, “The Brady Bunch” casts earned only stipends.
In addition to earning amounts that could barely make up for their time on set, the Network, ABC reportedly made the actors pay to park their vehicles in the company’s parking lot.
While this pettiness seems unbelievable especially for a giant like ABC, it somehow tallies with Schwartz’s explanation for why “The Brady Bunch” was canceled.
According to the producer, “it came down simply to contracts and money,” and ABC had no problem letting the show off the hook.
Although several sequels, spinoffs, and specials came afterward, none could beat the rush of feelings viewers experienced when a cat, a dog named Tiger, and six mischievous youngsters contributed to wreaking havoc on Matt and Carol’s wedding almost five decades ago.