Updated 1/18/2023 Don’t deny it: when you hear the phrase, “Here’s the Story,” the theme song for The Brady Bunch immediately starts playing in your head. Largely considered one of the last-old-style family sitcoms, and probably one of the most enduring from that era, the series ran for five seasons from 1969 to 1974 and spawned numerous spinoffs. These ranged from the animated Brady Kids Saturday morning cartoon to The Brady Brides and, most recently, the reality series A Very Brady Renovation. In all, it’s largely recognized in TV history as an American cultural influencer. As such, there’s no better time to take a look back at this beloved un-traditional family to see what they got into after and in between being a Brady. https://www.youtube.com/watch?vGsG-ff039iE 1. Robert Reed (Mike Brady) Everett Collection Mike Brady was the wise architect patriarch who was actually named "Father of the Year" by a local newspaper after Marcia submitted an essay. And although Robert Reed apparently had qualms with his role, he still brought professionalism to the show and set the stage for a piece of television history. A very young Robert Reed (courtesy Jan Green) On October 19, 1932 in Highland Park, Illinois, he was born John Robert Rietz, Jr. In high school he was a local radio announcer and producer of a radio drama. Enrolling at Northwestern University, he studied drama, taking the lead in more than eight plays. Later, a stint studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London followed, after which he returned to the States where he joined summer stock theater. This led to his joining "The Shakespearewright," an Off-Broadway theater group. And as if all of this wasn't enough, he moved to Chicago and became part of the Studebaker Theatre Company, which is where he legally changed his name to Robert Reed. The next step was Los Angeles, where he started guest starring on TV shows. THE DEFENDERS, from left: E.G. Marshall, Robert Reed, 1961-1965. ph: Al Wertheimer / TV Guide / Courtesy Everett Collection His big break in terms of getting exposed to viewers was in the legal drama The Defenders, in which he costarred with E.G. Marshall and which ran from 1961 to 1965. Notes Ted Nichelsen, Reed's biographer and author of Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour, "Bob was a classically-trained actor who came from a very professional background. Bob was extremely intelligent and well-versed. He spoke more than one language, he had been around the world and took everything that he did very seriously. He was a perfectionist, and really was interested in being an actor along the lines of a Shakespearean traditional actor. That's what I think people need to know about him. And that he had gotten involved with The Brady Bunch very much by chance. And by accident." RELATED: ‘The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch’ Chronicles Show’s Behind-The-Scenes Conflicts And More After The Defenders, Reed costarred with Julie Andrews in the feature film Star!, and on Broadway he starred in Avanti and Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park, where he replaced Robert Redford. Points out Nichelsen, "He had an extremely successful career at a young age. He also had a deal at Paramount where he was going to do pilots for them. The intention was for him to do a TV series of Barefoot in the Park, but then Paramount decided to go with an all African-American cast for for that. He was getting frustrated with the whole Paramount thing and while he always really had a short temper, that came from the fact that he had very high standards, which is what made him successful. He had many friends who were very talented, but did not end up being successful. People just need to remember where he was before The Brady Bunch came along." BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, from left: Nipsey Russell, Tracy Reed, Sugar Ray Robinson, Scoey Mitchell in 'Down With The Landlord', (Season 1, Episode 7, aired November 5, 1970), 1970-71. But during The Brady Bunch, Reed, who never thought the show would go past half a season, frequently butted heads with the writers and producer/creator Sherwood Schwartz over the quality of the scripts and how cartoonish he felt they were becoming. By the end, he refused to shoot what was perceived to be the fifth season finale, but, as it turned out, was actually the last episode produced. THE BRADY BUNCH, (top): Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, (middle): Mike Lookinland, Christopher Knight, Barry Williams, (bottom): Eve Plumb, Susan Olsen, Maureen McCormick, (Season 1), 1969-74 Says Nichelsen, "Bob was very conflicted with The Brady Bunch as well. He enjoyed working with the people and he was very careful to protect the child actors where he didn't have his tantrums in front of them. He was always doing things for them, trying to educate them on different things that were important to him. He gave them movie cameras and took them on a trip to London. He was someone who cared about them and cared about their growth and development. So there's that side of it." Robert Reed took the cast on a cruise (photo courtesy Lowell Harris) He did get his desired dramatic roles as well, with Emmy-nominated parts in the 1976 Rich Man, Poor Man and 1977 Roots miniseries. Plus, he continued to occasionally appear on detective drama Mannix (which he had done throughout the Brady years — both shows were owned by Paramount and shot on the same lot), starred in dramatic TV movies like Pray for the Wildcats (co-starring Andy Griffith in a change of pace role for him) and The Secret Night Caller, in which he played a stalker. Then, in 1975, he appeared on a two-part story for the drama Medical Center, playing a doctor who becomes a transgender — a role that earned him critical acclaim. He got his chance to co-lead another show in 1981 alongside The Waltons’ Michael Learned in Nurse, but it didn’t last. ROOTS, Robert Reed (center), 1977. What's truly ironic is that despite his negative feelings towards The Brady Bunch — and all of those battles — outside of the animated series, he was involved in almost every spin-off in his lifetime: The Brady Bunch Variety Show, The Brady Girls Get Married, A Very Brady Christmas and The Bradys. Explains Nichelsen, "When the TV movie The Brady Girls Get Married was written, Bob was starring in Deathtrap on Broadway in November or December of 1980 and he wasn’t cast in the film. He called Sherwood Schwartz and was, like, ‘What do you mean I’m not in this? The only person that’s going to give away my girls is me.’ And Bob actually bought himself out of Deathtrap and paid his own way to Los Angeles to shoot his part in that TV movie. He had to be in that movie. Sherwood was happy to have the original actor, but they were all set to replace him with someone else.” BRADY GIRLS GET MARRIED, (top, l to r): Jerry Houser, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen, Barry Williams, Mike Lookinland, Eve Plumb, Ron Kuhlman, (bottom, l to r): Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, Ann B. Davis, 1981, © NBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection Which, is what would have happened had The Bradys gone a second season, Schwartz having decided to kill Mike Brady off between seasons as the actor was angrier than ever and by all reports made everyone pretty unhappy. The thing that did make him happy was that following the end of The Bradys, he was brought in to teach acting at UCLA. "I spoke with many of his students, and it was a really great class," states Nichelsen. "They learned a lot and he was very personal with the students in terms of sharing his knowledge and trying to help them be better actors. That was sort of how he kind of wrapped up his life, volunteering to teach at UCLA." THE BRADY BUNCH, Robert Reed, 1969-74 His personal life was complex. Reed was married in 1954 and had a daughter before divorcing in 1959. The reason for the divorce? He was a closeted gay man; even Florence Henderson noticing early on that he appeared uncomfortable acting romantically with her, and later, he admitted the truth to her privately. THE BRADYS, from left: Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, 1990, © CBS/courtesy Everett Collection Reed was diagnosed with cancer in 1991 and sadly passed away at just 59 years old. Although Reed did not have AIDS, his doctor did list HIV-positive as a factor in his death. One point Nichelsen makes is that the diagnosis didn't slow him down, detailing, "While he was sick, he started a tour of Love Letters with Betsy Palmer and it was great for Bob, because he could sit and read these love letters and it was a back and forth. And he did that all the way until maybe a couple of months before he passed away. He was having chemotherapy and would get right on the plane and go to the next show. He was very dedicated and kept acting almost until the end. The point is, he did not retire and then retreat to his home. He was always working. That was Bob." 2. Florence Henderson (Carol Brady) Everett Collection / YouTube Screenshot Carol is the matriarch who always comes through for the kids, and while she is the typical homemaker, she’s kind of anything but… she’s a freelance writer, sculptor, and a singer — which she definitely passed down to the children! Florence Henderson was born Valentine's Day 1934 in Dale, Indiana to a tobacco sharecropper father and homemaker mother. Lloyd J. Schwartz, whose father created both Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, comments, "Her father was 61 when she was born. I met all of her relatives and they were nothing like Florence. Florence had left that kind of community and moved to New York and became a very sophisticated kind of person. Well, they were not sophisticated. I don't want to be disparaging in terms of hick kind of people, but that's what they were and it was fascinating. So she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and became who she became." Florence Henderson, circa early 1960s, New York City. The journey to do so, elaborates The Way We All Became the Brady Bunch author Kimberly Potts, began when she was two and her mother taught her to sing. "So the first part of her multi-talented entertainment career was singing and obviously it continued to be a big part of her career. The family didn’t have a lot of money with 10 kids, but a family friend sponsored her to go to New York shortly after high school. There she enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. It wasn’t long before she became a part of the touring cast of Oklahoma!.” LITTLE WOMEN, Zina Bethune, Florence Henderson, 1958 Through the early 1950s she went from Oklahoma! to the lead in Fanny, while debuting on television in 1954 on General Foods 25th Anniversary: A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein. That in turn led to a musical version of Little Women on the TV anthology The United States Steel Hour in 1957. As pop culture historian Geoffrey Mark points out, Florence Henderson was the right person at the right time, hitting show business at a point where musicals in the classic genre were still being produced. THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Florence Henderson, touring company, 1961-62 "Rodgers and Hammerstein and Cole Porter and Irving Berlin were still writing musicals," he suggests. "And there was Florence, pretty but not beautiful, which is important because it allowed her to not be a threatening soprano. The word soprano is important, because historically there really had not been very many really good sopranos who could also play comedy and act. Broadway has a history of beautiful voices, but the combination of sincere pretty looks and the ability to play comedy and play pathos is very rare. And it was just what Broadway was looking for right at the time when Florence began to run into the people who helped her to get to where she was going. Had she hit the scene 10 years later, she probably wouldn’t have broken through. So timing is always what it’s about.” From left: Florence Henderson, Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard rodgers, Gordon MacRae in rehearsal for the GENERAL FOODS 25TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW, 1954 She began doing television commercials, singing on variety shows and important television specials. She even became the first woman to guest host The Tonight Show. Ed Robertson, host of the TV Confidential podcast, emphasizes that Florence was the embodiment of that era of the first 10 to 20 years of television. "Where," he says, "being on television was considered both good for your career and bad. She did all the variety shows throughout the sixties while she was performing on Broadway. Being on television made her a name, because she reached a lot more people than she may have within the confines of Broadway. Now that’s an example of the benefits of a performer being on network television during that era. The flip side of that is 10 years later she does The Brady Bunch and it killed her career in the sense that no one saw her as anything other than Carol Brady.” THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW, from left: Dean Martin, Florence Henderson, 1965-74. Mark opines, "That she was able to become so successful long before The Brady Bunch is a testament to her talent, her driving ambition and the fact that she was a very nice lady. With every celebrity, you can find a detractor. There’s always someone who resents someone for something. But Florence was a pro with a no-nonsense, ‘let’s get to work, I’m enjoying what I’m doing, why aren’t you’ kind of attitude. That bodes well for someone, especially on Broadway when one is doing eight shows a week, week after week. If one is unpleasant to work with, one doesn’t get a lot of work. By the 1960s she was seen on television on a regular basis, was playing Las Vegas and the Catskills and Miami and the major nightclubs around the country, and all of this happened before Sherwood Schwartz clicked the first letter of his typewriter to write The Brady Bunch.” SONG OF NORWAY, from left: Frank Porretta, Florence Henderson, Toralv Maurstad, 1970 When The Brady Bunch came her way, says Potts, "She actually had no interest in it at first, partly because she enjoyed having freedom in her career and partially because her marriage was not on solid ground at that point. She was very leery of taking on a TV show that would require so much time, but her manager really begged her to just go talk to Sherwood Schwartz and the ABC executives. The way her manager pled with her to go meet with them, it made her think that there might be something to it.” THE BRADY BUNCH, Florence Henderson, Maureen McCormick, 'The Show Must Go On', (Season 4, aired Nov. 3, 1972), 1969-74 Once production on The Brady Bunch — a show Henderson's best friend, Shirley Jones, had turned down, though the following year she became the Partridge Matriarch — began, Lloyd Schwartz made an interesting observation: "When they started the show, she did not do the first six episodes, because she was filming Song of Norway. The first thing we did was catch her up in all her scenes from those first six episodes. My impression watching her work was that she just tapped into her motherly attitude when dealing with the kids, but I always felt she was a much better actress than that. I had to talk to each of the directors to say, ‘Don’t let her get away with just doing it easy.’ Because it was just so easy for her, but there was more to tap there and I really liked when she went to those places.” THE BRADY BUNCH, Florence Henderson, (Season 3, 1971-1972), 1969-74 Muses Potts, “I think for everyone involved, even Robert Reed despite being part of a show that he hated, the fact is that they really did become a family, because they spent so much time together on the set. Her real life kids spent a lot of time with the kids in the cast; the cast would come over to her house for pool parties with her kids. So she very much found a way to integrate the show into her life off camera and I think she did enjoy it.” THE BRADY BUNCH HOUR, Christopher Knight, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Geri Reischl, 1977 Over the years she made herself available for each of the Brady Bunch reunion projects. In between she actually did quite well and didn't seem to feel the suffocation to her career that her co-stars did. Says Potts, "Florence managed to embrace that sort of … I don’t want to say typecasting, but being recognized as Carol Brady as opposed to having the freedom to move from project to project without that sort of hindrance.” DANCING WITH THE STARS, (from left): Corky Ballas, Florence Henderson, 'Episode 1103', (Season 11, aired Oct. 4, 2010), 2004-. photo: Adam Larkey / ©ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection She became a celebrity spokesperson for a variety of products, including Wesson Oil and Polident, hosted cooking shows, was a frequent guest star on episodic television and game shows like The Hollywood Squares and Password, competed on Dancing with the Stars, and co-starred with TV daughter Eve Plumb on the children's series Fudge. On top of that, there were frequent theater and nightclub appearances across the country. THE BRADYS BACK IN HAWAII, Barry Williams, Florence Henderson, Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Christopher Knight, 2005, © The Travel Channel / Courtesy: Everett Collection Florence Henderson sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 82, but she will forever be remembered for her Carol Brady. States Lloyd Schwartz, "The Brady Bunch in a sense gave her an identity. She did a whole bunch of other things, but when she passed away, all the obituaries referred to her as Mrs. Brady. Florence would be very happy to be remembered as Carol Brady, because people would always come up to her seeking motherly advice, assuming that she was like Carol Brady. She had no problem tapping into that.” 3. Barry Williams (Greg Brady) Everett Collection / YouTube Screenshot Greg’s the oldest of the kids, into politics, athletics, music and quite bright. An audience favorite episode was the one when Greg and Marcia fight over who’s going to get the attic as a bedroom, though no one was aware of their passion off-set: Barry and Marcia’s Maureen McCormick had a love spark during the show's run, having their first kiss together while shooting the Hawaii episodes. THE BRADY BUNCH, Barry Williams, 1969-1974 Born Barry William Blenkhorn on September 30, 1954, in Santa Monica, California, Williams developed a desire for acting when he was a kid, and managed to score his first guest-starring role in an episode of Dragnet 1967. From there he made appearances on shows like Adam-12, The Invaders, That Girl, Mission: Impossible, The Mod Squad, and Here Come the Brides. All of that ultimately led to those fives years on The Brady Bunch, a bit of pop culture immortality, and a moment of decision for him when it all ended. BIGFOOT, (from left): Barry Williams, Danny Bonaduce, (airs June 30, 2012), 2012. photo: Lara Solanki / © SyFy / Courtesy: Everett Collection “I decided to go outside television,” he explains, noting that he was nonetheless a happy participant in various Brady projects. “I started a whole new career in musical theater and flourished. So that’s worked out fine with me and I’ve been able to integrate television back into it. Now I’ve been active in nearly every aspect of show business — certainly all the aspects I’m interested in — with some degree of success. Which would be television and musical theater, including Broadway and national tours. I’ve performed in Las Vegas, I’ve recorded CDs, I’ve written a bestselling book, I’ve produced that book into a television movie for NBC, I’ve been a radio DJ on Sirius, I’ve been a writer on different TV shows, I’ve had my own TV show, A Very Barry Branson, that was about my adventures as a big fish/small pond kind of thing here in Branson, Missouri; and a musical variety rock and roll show called ‘70s Music Celebration. So I’m pleased. Things have worked out just fine.” Williams still acts in television and film here and there, on television most recently playing Mike Brady in the Paramount+ TV special Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch, and the movie Blending Christmas and on the big screen in Flea. He's been married three times and is the father of two. Today at 68, he’s the oldest surviving member of this iconic bunch. 4. Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady) Everett Collection / YouTube Screenshot “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” The eldest of the three Brady girls provided some of the best plot points. She is extremely smart, beautiful, and sure of herself. Maureen McCormick, who brought Marcia to life, got her start as a child actress at just 6 years old. She was born Maureen Denise McCormick on August 5, 1956 in Los Angeles and early on demonstrated that she loved to entertain others, often breaking into song, dance, and putting on puppet show for the neighbors. Her career — or at least a move towards one — began when she won the Baby Miss San Fernando Valley beauty pageant at age 6, followed by her debut on television in 1964 in Barbie and Chatty Cathy commercials for Mattel (in 1970 she would end up voicing a redesigned Chatty Cathy doll). Then came a guest starring role on Bewitched, playing a young Endora. Maureen McCormick on 'Bewitched' (Columbia Pictures Television) While McCormick enjoyed her time on The Brady Bunch and all of the connections she made with her co-stars, its ongoing popularity has had, at times, a negative impact on her. As she related to WGN-TV, "It's a blessing because I was on a show that is loved by America and that’s a great thing. It’s a curse when you’re an actress and you get so well known for one role and you want to move on and do other things. But the blessings definitely outweigh the curse. And it was just a great show to be a part of.” BRADY BUNCH, Davy Jones, Maureen McCormick, 'Getting Davy Jones', (Season 3, aired 12/10/72), 1969-1974, At the same time, following the cancellation of The Brady Bunch, McCormick spent years addicted to cocaine, directly affecting her career and her life. When she flubbed an audition with Steven Spielberg, arriving drugged out and sleep-deprived, she had to reestablish her credibility and finally in 1997, after getting sober, she got a decent role in the show Teen Angel. Maureen has always dabbled in music — along with the four albums recorded with the Bunch, she released her first two singles in 1975. Then, 20 years later in ‘95, she released a country album titled, When You Get a Little Lonely. BRADY BUNCH, Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb, 1969-1974 In 2019 she rejoined her '70s family for HGTV's A Very Brady Renovation, having usually been up for the various reunions through the decades. “For me,” Maureen explained while publicizing that show, “I always look at each project on its own and see if it resonates with me as something that would be real and just good. When I heard about this, I’m a huge fan of HGTV and all the shows that they do, and I talked with the people and just felt like they had a love for this project. I felt like this would be a really good one to be involved with, and I was very excited in getting back together with everyone. It’s been a really long time since we’ve all been together and working together, and it’s just been so beautiful to be a part of.” Also in 2019, she served as the host of the television series Macy's Thanksgiving Cake Spectacular: Cakes on Parade. McCormick, who is 66, has been married to Michael Cummings since 1985 and they have one child. 5. Christopher Knight (Peter Brady) Everett Collection / YouTube Screenshot Peter is the middle Brady son who loves joking around but is especially protective of little Cindy. He also does a mean Humphrey Bogart impression. Christopher Knight’s Peter was certainly the biggest role of his career, but he did have another series regular role in the short-lived sitcom Joe’s World in 1979. He then left the acting world and joined Martec, Inc. as a salesman, landing the company's first million-dollar sales deal within his first 18 months and earning the title Employee of the Year. He’s started multiple companies like Visual Software, a pioneering 3D graphics company. BRADY BUNCH, Christopher Knight, 1969-1974 He has since gotten back into the acting game. including an episode of That ‘70s Show alongside his Brady Bunch brother and good friend, Barry Williams. Knight has been married four times, even proposing to his third wife on the finale of his very own VH1 reality show, My Fair Brady in 2005. CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD, (from left) host Al Roker, Christopher Knight, Adrienne Curry, 'American Chopper vs. Christopher Knight & Adrienne Curry', (Season 1, aired July 29, 2008), 2008, photo: Chris Haston / ©NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection One has to wonder if Knight ever feels a bit like Michael Corleone in the Godfather films in that every time he thinks he's out of The Brady Bunch, they pull him back in. "I made peace with this quite a while ago," he smiles, "so it’s not like I look at it like pulling me back in. It’s almost as though I laugh at it. It’s like a seven-year cycle where it cycles out, cycles back. This — the HGTV reality show — I think was the last cycle and it’s a wonderful birthday gift, a celebration of sorts; an acknowledgement that the history of the show has grown to mean more than just a television show. It represents a piece of Americana and a piece of what America wants to believe it is. It’s a reflection of an inner feeling of the American family and that’s good. That puts us in a favorable position. Frankly, the show at the time it was produced, was already the past. That type of family, that type of unity, though still in existence, it’s quite a bit different during the late 60s. If it’s bad now, it was worse then politically and socially. You wouldn’t know it from the The Brady Bunch, and the household that we were depicting really was a throwback to the late 50s, early 60s." CELEBRITY CIRCUS, Christopher Knight, 'Day 4 of Circus Training', (Season 1), 2008. photo: Chris Haston /© Endemol Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection Today at 65, he’s currently “taking on more entrepreneurship endeavors," particularly with his Christopher Knight Home furniture line. In 2021 he reprised the role of Peter Brady in the Paramount+ special Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch, and the TV movie Blending Christmas. 6. Eve Plumb (Jan Brady) Everett Collection Jan is the insecure middle Brady girl, and is pretty relatable — she hates her glasses and freckles and is embarrassed that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Ah, the simpler times of being a youngin’. Eve Plumb began acting in commercials at age 7, much like Maureen Mccormick did, and even appeared in three episodes of The Big Valley before landing Jan Brady. THE BRADY BUNCH, Eve Plumb, ABC-TV, 1969-1974 Points out Lloyd J. Schwartz, "She came to the show with more of a history of the business in some way with her sister being an actress, her father involved in music and her mother ever-present. So whenever we would do a scene, she was just kind of a little bit apart. Not in a bad way at all, because everybody has their own life things they bring to it. But it was something that we started to notice and some of the stories that we wrote just kind of highlighted that in a way, evolving into the whole middle-child syndrome storyline. Of course, now everybody uses that as an example of Jan Brady as this tormented kid. You know, ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!’ She played that really well.” THE BRADY BUNCH, Eve Plumb, 1969-1974. “Eve,” adds Geoffrey Mark, “was able to take what could have been a silly situation about playing the middle child who is not quite as pretty as the older sister and not quite as cute as the younger sister, and gave her a real personality and gave the situation seriousness. That’s why we remember ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.’ She made an impression because she was playing a part She wasn’t just a cute child actor saying lines.” BRADY BUNCH, Eve Plumb, Maureen McCormick, 'The Not-So-Ugly Duckling', Season 2, 11/20/1970. Speaking of child actors, Plumb, who was born April 29, 1958 in Burbank, California, reflected on her start in the business with the Mercury News: "A children’s agent moved next door to me when I was a kid and I got a commercial, then I kept getting more. I shot TV pilots, appeared on The Big Valley, then Lassie and then The Brady Bunch came along. I had so much success as a child, but once you age out of being the cute kid, then what? If you’re not ready for it, it can be very difficult.” DAWN: PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE RUNAWAY, Eve Plumb, 1976 Although Eve was considered for Linda Blair's part of Regan in 1973's horror masterpiece, The Exorcist, while still on The Brady Bunch, where she really separated herself from the rest of her TV clan was when she was cast in the 1976 TV movie Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway, a serious drama. The acclaim Eve received for her portrayal of Dawn seemed surprising to everyone but Eve herself. A VERY BRADY CHRISTMAS, Eve Plumb, 1988, © Paramount TV / Courtesy: Everett Collection “Don’t forget,” she reminded the News-Pilot of San Pedro California at the time, “I’ve been acting since I was six years old and I’ve lived in Hollywood most of my life. I think playing a hooker was fun. I certainly don’t feel bad about it. It was great to pretend to be tough, because it was so different from playing Jan. I’ve seen hookers in action in Hollywood. I know what they are and what they did. What I didn’t know, my mother told me. And it was funny. I went shopping with the costumer for the movie at some of those wild stores along Hollywood Boulevard. He is a middle-aged man. Some of the shopkeepers saw us together and thought I was the real thing. Now that I’m 18 and can play juvenile roles — the hooker I play in this picture is 15 — I’ve been flooded with offers to play all kinds of young parts.” FUDGE, (from left): Jake Richardson, Nassira Nicola, Forrest Witt, Eve Plumb, Luke Tarsitano, Florence Henderson, Darren McGavin, 'Fudge-A-Mania', (Season 1, ep. 101, aired Jan. 7, 1995), 1995-97. © MCA-TV / Courtesy: Everett Collection The success of Dawn was something she parlayed into a number of different roles and she's worked through the years on television and on stage. She starred on the show Fudge and participated in a number of Brady reunions, though sometimes she's kept the latter at somewhat of a distance. However, Kimberly Potts points to A Very Brady Renovation as a bit of a revelation of Plumb's true feelings. A VERY BRADY RENOVATION, from left: Jasmine Roth, Karen E. Laine, Mina Starsiak, Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Leanne Ford, Steve Ford, Lara Spencer, Jonathan Scott, Drew Scott, (Season 1, premiered Sept. 9, 2019). photo: ©HGTV/Scripps / courtesy Everett Collection "The renovation series," she says, "was kind of the first time anybody has ever gotten a chance to see a bit of her personality. I mean, she comes off as having a very dry sense of humor, but being very funny. I love that we saw one episode where they sent her off to her storage unit or the garage of a friend where she stores a lot her stuff. And she actually had bins and bins and bins of Brady material. She had the original scripts, that great metal lunchbox that is such a collectible. So clearly the show meant a lot to her. Those are not things you keep for 50 years if you don’t care about it.” In 2020, she made a guest appearance on the television series Bull and played the character Lucy on the Paramount+ special Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch. Today at 64, she also paints and has solid success with real estate, having bought her Malibu home at age 11 for $55,000 and recently sold it for $3.9 million! She and Ken Pace have been married since 1995. 7. Mike Lookinland (Bobby Brady) Everett Collection / YouTube Screenshot Bobby is the adorable youngest boy, with a great episode being when he idolizes the outlaw Jesse James showcasing how you should be careful who you model yourself after. Mike’s natural hair was strawberry blond and had to be dyed dark brown to match the other family members. Bobby was seen with strawberry blond hair in the reunion projects. THE BRADY BUNCH, Mike Lookinland, (Season 5), 1969-74 In 1974, Mike did the Paul Newman epic, The Towering Inferno, and got so burnt out after the 4-month shoot piled on top of the Brady workload, that he actually turned down a starring role in the then upcoming series, The Swiss Family Robinson. This decision altered his career trajectory, his acting roles being pretty much limited to Brady reunions. In fact, he reprised the role of Bobby Brady on Paramount+'s Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch in 2021 and, in the same year, appeared with some of his former TV siblings in the TV movie Blending Christmas. 19 October 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Barry Williams, Susan Olsen and Mike Lookinland (best known for their roles in "The Brady Bunch") at Hamilton Comic Con at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Photo Credit: Brent Perniac/AdMedia Today at 62 years old, he operates a business that makes decorative concrete in Salt Lake City. Lookinland has been married to Kelly Wermuth since 1987 and they have two children. 8. Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) Everett Collection / YouTube Screenshot Cindy is the youngest of the whole family with adorable corkscrew curls. She frequently liked to snoop and gossip, her lisp being real. Olsen worked with a speech therapist to correct it until at 19, she underwent a surgical procedure to eliminate it. Susan didn’t act much beyond The Brady Bunch. BRADY BUNCH, Susan Olsen, 1969-74 She worked as a graphic designer for a decade. There was also a long-standing rumor that Olsen did porn, but she quickly cleared that up, explaining that she created space ship sound effects for a porno titled, Love Probe from a Warm Planet. In 2016, she was fired from her radio show, "Two Chicks Talkin' Politics” for allegedly using homophobic remarks. Most recently she reunited with Barry Williams, Christopher Knight and Mike Lookinland for the Lifetime TV movie Blending Christmas. 19 October 2019 - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Actress Susan Olsen (best known for her role as Cindy Brady in "The Brady Bunch") at Hamilton Comic Con at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Photo Credit: Brent Perniac/AdMedia Today at 61 years old, Olsen typically keeps fans updated on her life through her Instagram account, and we hope to see her again soon! 9. Ann B. Davis (Alice Nelson) Everett Collection / YouTube Screenshot Alice Nelson is the extremely likable and funny housekeeper and friend of the Brady family. Ann B. Davis played her own identical cousin in season 3 while in real life, she had a twin sister named Harriet who was not an actress. Davis had her first big break in 1955 gaining a starring role as Charmaine "Shultzy" Shultz on The Bob Cummings Show, where she would go on to win a pair of Primetime Emmys out of a total of four nominations. BRADY BUNCH, Ann B. Davis, 1969-1974 Reflects Geoffrey Mark, "She came from a family who had large interests in show business. Her brother was a dancer who had been in the national company of Oklahoma! and she felt the pull into the business. She wasn’t planning on going into it; she was going to go into medicine, but she started getting parts locally in Texas. Then little things led to bigger things and now all of a sudden she’s doing different things, because she’s getting booked on projects. She’s doing summer stock, she’s becoming part of theater companies around the country. Eventually, in 1949, she gets to California and that finally brings her down to Hollywood. But she’s not easily booked, because she’s a character actress and character actors always have to fight harder to get noticed. If you’re not the star of the show, sometimes you’re not even the best friend of the star of the show; you’re in the background, playing small, interesting parts. The interesting thing, though, is that as hard as it is to get noticed, she did, because she really doesn’t start appearing as a nationwide presence until 1955. That means she didn’t break through until she was almost 30 years old.” THE JOHN FORSYTHE SHOW, Ann B. Davis, John Forsythe, Elsa Lanchester, 1965-66 In 1965, she got another regular series gig on The John Forsythe Show. "It didn't last long," says Mark, "but she's doing commercials, she's doing theater all over the place, she's doing what every actor who's been successful does in between being on a regular TV series. And then she gets booked on The Brady Bunch and that phenomenon is one of a kind." A VERY BRADY CHRISTMAS, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Robert Reed, 1988. (c) Paramount Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection. Lloyd J. Schwartz, who was not only friends with Davis but genuinely enjoyed working with her, remembers an episode of The Brady Bunch which featured guest star Imogene Coco, who had been the co-star of Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows. “I had worked with her on the show It’s About Time, and I was very close to her,” he says. “So I had these two women, really lions of our industry in terms of comedy and public awareness, in an episode. It was fascinating to see how they worked completely differently from each other. Imogene as a performer was much more like Robin Williams. She was a very shy person in real life, but on the stage she was just all over the place in the way that Robin was. Ann B. was kind of like Lucille Ball, who was extremely rehearsed. She had to have every beat down. They didn’t have many scenes together, but it was so funny to watch them, because their styles were so different.” THE BRADY BUNCH, (clockwise from top left): Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, BarryWilliams, Maureen McCormick, Susan Olsen, Ann B. Davis, Mike Lookinland, (Season 4), 1969-74 She was such a talented comedic actress, and her Alice Nelson was a perfect cherry on top of a stellar career. Never officially retiring, she could be seen on TV frequently, selling products like Minute Rice and Shake n Bake. Notes Ted Nichelsen, "After The Brady Bunch ended, Ann eventually relocated to Colorado, where she became more active with her church and religious life. She periodically returned to acting on stage, television commercials and Brady Bunch reunions.” THE BRADYS, Ann B. Davis, 1990. (c) Paramount Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection. “Her heart took her to a different place,” says Schwartz, “which is she became part of a religious community. Now a lot of people thought she had become a nun, but, no, she just lived in a religious community and did a lot of charity work with homeless people and things like that. She found a new fulfillment there." Davis never married nor was publicly known to have been romantically linked to anyone. She passed away in 2014 at the age of 88.