All About The Brady Bunch
Barry Williams Talks About Life on the Set
Nov. 6

If you grew up in the ’70s, chances are you really had two families: your real family and The Brady Bunch.

    One of the grooviest sitcoms of the era, America’s love for the Brady family spawned numerous movies, television specials, cartoons, books and related paraphernalia.
     From Robert Reed, the beloved TV dad known as Mike Brady, hiding his sexuality, to creative differences and romantic interludes among cast members, the real-life Brady family was not always picture perfect.
     What was life like behind the scenes? What was it to be a teenager growing up on the set? Did the cast know that Reed was hiding his sexuality? Did Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady, really date his on-screen mother, Florence Henderson?
     Barry Williams joined us in an online chat after his appearance on 20/20 Downtown. The transcript is below.
You can learn more about Barry Williams here. Welcome to our conversation with Barry Williams, whom some of you may know better as Greg Brady.
Barry Williams
Good evening. Thank you for joining me. I am looking forward to our discussion.
CraigMcCallum asks:
I loved your book "Growing up Brady". You have a great style of writing. It's almost as if you and the reader were sitting around a table having a coffee and you telling me all about what it was like to be a part of American pop culture. Have you ever considered writing another book? Perhaps it could be about another subject other than the Brady show.
Barry Williams
Thank you. Yes, I have, and because I travel and tour such as I am currently on tour with The Sound of Music, I thought an appropriate title would be "Road Warrior".
Brian asks:
When the show was cancelled how old were you? Did you end up going to college? What other career paths, besides acting, have you contemplated?
Barry Williams
I was 19. I attended Pepperdine University. And medicine has always fascinated me. Which is why I play a doctor on TV! LOL!
AmarPersaud asks:
Mr. Williams, what is your opinion of today's TV shows, and compare and contrast today's TV show to the Brady Bunch.
Barry Williams
I enjoy many of today's television shows. Law and Order, The West Wing, Frasier, but, I think many of the programs today are more cynical than they were when the Brady Bunch was being produced.
Henry asks:
If you could do it all again (meaning the Brady Bunch show), would you?
Barry Williams
Yes, I'm proud of the show, and pleased that so many families continue to enjoy it. It has not prevented my being able to expand beyond that one character. Check out my web site, for more information.
Diane asks:
Hi Barry, If you could change one thing about your career, either during the Brady years or now, what would it be?
Barry Williams
I would have introduced more music. Music is a very important part of my life and career currently.
Marty3 asks:
Hello Barry, Was their a family type atmosphere on the set of The Brady Bunch?
Barry Williams
With the exception of all of our dating, yes. And, remember, we were not really related. :-)
Marty asks:
Hello Barry, Will you be appearing in any TV shows or movies in the future?
Barry Williams
I'm currently at the beginning of a six and a half month national tour of "The Sound Of Music", so perhaps after that. And check my web site for schedules.
Carmen asks:
Why do you think America is still fascinated with The Brady Bunch?
Barry Williams
Family values and timeless morals, relatable situations, and super-groovy fashion statements.
Sally asks:
Was it hard to handle the fame that came with the popularity of the show at such a young age?
Barry Williams
I have loved every minute of it! I have friends everywhere I travel to. And I appreciate the privilege.
StevenGM asks:
Barry, do you watch The Brady Bunch reruns today? What goes through your mind when you do?
Barry Williams
I watch shows such as this evening's 20/20 Downtown and have a flood of memories from that time. I know how each episode turns out, because "I wrote the book". So, I don't often watch full episodes.
Sunshine asks:
Does the cast ever get together and keep in touch?
Barry Williams
Yes, frequently, both socially and professionally, it has been like having a second family.
Heather asks:
What advice do you have for a teenager who would like to try acting?
Barry Williams
Join community productions, keep it fun, and unprofessional. Stay in school. Graduate from college and move to New York City.
Dewster asks:
Have you had any contact with Bob's daughter since she appeared on the show?
Barry Williams
Yes, infrequently.
Lennon asks:
What was one of your favorite memories of Robert Reed?
Barry Williams
Traveling on the QEII from New York City to London with our cast.
TheBradyBunch2000 asks:
Did you think The Brady Bunch would last as long as it did?
Barry Williams
No one could have predicted the longevity of The Brady Bunch There was no cable TV, when we filmed our show. And Nick At Nite is responsible for allowing new generations to experience the show.
Jessica88 asks:
Hi Mr. Williams. ABC put on a great program about Robert Reed. My question is if Mr. Reed ended up acting after your show in other projects? (I also wanted to say congrats in the Sound of Music- my sister and I are going to see you in Cincinnati this December!)
Barry Williams
I look forward to seeing you in Cincinnati! Yes, he worked consistently in television, and on Broadway, scoring an Emmy nomination for his work on "Medical Center". Also, acting in "Rich Man, Poor Man" and playing roles on Broadway including "Deathtrap".
Sean675 asks:
Was there added pressure on yourself from those on the set or media as the oldest "kid" cast member to answer for the behavior, the secrets, etc?
Barry Williams
No, because that which was secret, was secret. And, questions about Robert Reed's personal life did not surface until after he passed away in 1992.
Annette asks:
If you have children, would you allow them to be a child actor?
Barry Williams
The short answer is "no". You have one time in life to be a child, the rest of your life to be an adult. A child has too many demands as a professional to just be a kid.
Jeff asks:
Saw 20/20Downtown tonight and of course remember The Brady Bunch from the early 1970s. (I'm about the age of Barry W.) I wonder how you think the issue of Robert Reed situation might be handled if the show started today?
Barry Williams
I believe that we as a society have come forward to where it may be a non-issue. I certainly hope so. Ask Ellen DeGeneres.
PamTroxel asks:
Was Robert Reed really hard to work with, or were those reports exaggerated? Did you as children know about his lifestyle?
Barry Williams
Yes, we were aware of his lifestyle. No, he was not difficult to work with from the actor's point of view. The producers, the studio, and the network, may have had other problems.
Josh asks:
Does it bother you when people still refer to you as Greg Brady?
Barry Williams
I prefer to be recognized as who I am, Barry Williams. Rather than the character that I played. Which is why I recorded the single "The Real Greg Brady".
M3 asks:
Hello Barry, Did you enjoy writing Growing Up Brady?
Barry Williams
It was one of the best, most challenging, demanding, experiences of my life. and the creative team, to be a part of it. We re-lived the experience 15 years later.
Stella asks:
Barry, what was your fondest memory of The Brady Bunch?
Barry Williams
Filming in Hawaii. Surfing, exploring, and getting sunburned!
Brad asks:
Was getting your education tough while you were on the cast of The Brady Bunch? How did that work?
Barry Williams
There were two people in my high school, Maureen (Marcia) and me. In one way we had a very specialized education. But, in another, it lacked social integration. I missed Friday night football games.
Barbara asks:
Today, a lot of people laugh at the story lines from The Brady Bunch because they seem so out of touch with reality. I wonder what you thought of them at the time?
Barry Williams
I didn't agree about the story lines. Getting braces, having to get rid of a dog, running for class president, are very relatable. The treatment we gave those issues is laughable, because it's a sitcom. :-)
Captain Jack asks:
Ever regret when the Brady kids stopped singing?
Barry Williams
No! But it did give me a chance to move on. I finally this year had a chance to record a CD that I have always wanted to make, called "The Return of Johnny Bravo."
Missy944 asks:
Do you still own any props, etc. from your Brady Bunch days?
Barry Williams
I have the tiki from Hawaii, from the movie. Most of the things that I still keep are pictures, except for the bell bottoms! One pair of which I'm wearing now.
lmk4786 asks:
I was watching the broadcast about 20 minutes ago, and I wondered if you felt that Robert Reed's "secret" needed to come out after he died? Did he ask that to be known or did people just tell?
Barry Williams
No, I don't think it ever needed to be a topic of discussion. Unfortunately, the tabloids exploited his lifestyle and we felt it was important to set the record straight.
Don1701 asks:
Hi. What is your reaction when fans still recognize you as Greg Brady after all these years?
Barry Williams
I am thrilled to have had an impact in someone's life.
Buddy asks:
Barry, who was your favorite celebrity guest to appear on The Brady Bunch?
Barry Williams
Don Drysdale. He taught me how to hold a curve ball. Of course, throwing it for a strike is an entirely different matter.
Alaska asks:
Are their any shows on TV today that you can compare to The Brady Bunch?
Barry Williams
Full House. Step By Step. They are fairly similar. I think we could rule out Larry Sanders. :-)
Domino asks:
Have you ever had any "crazy" girl fans, trying to break into studio or whatever to meet you?
Barry Williams
We had a group of fans tip over our mobile dressing room at the Ohio State Fair. Fortunately, we were not in it at the time. But I felt that was fairly enthusiastic.
Kim asks:
Are you the only one of the Brady children that took up singing after the show?
Barry Williams
No, Maureen McCormick released a country CD four years ago.
JD asks:
Do you remember your first day on the Brady set and your first meeting with the other kids?
Barry Williams
Yes! I couldn't wait to play the role of "big brother". In my family, I am the youngest of three boys. They had no idea what they were in for. And I couldn't wait to turn the tables! Christopher Knight was my first victim.
Amy148 asks:
Mr. Williams, do you feel that playing the part of Greg has made it difficult for you to be considered for other roles?
Barry Williams
I have been a part of at least seventy-five different theatrical productions. Currently, I am starring in the Broadway national tour of "The Sound of Music" as Captain Von Trapp. Audiences seem to accept me in new roles and still feel connected to their identification with me in The Brady Bunch.
Johnny asks:
Barry, would you like to work a lot more on episodic television?
Barry Williams
>: I have a very diversified schedule, which includes recording, concerts, musicals, producing, and episodic television. I'm glad I can do it all.
Lynzee asks:
What I want to know is what did the kids think when Robert "told" them about his orientation?
Barry Williams
Robert did not ever discuss his lifestyle with the kids. We became aware of who he was because we all worked so closely together, and cared so much about each other.
Pam asks:
Barry, loved you on The Brady Bunch. Are you now married, do you have a family?
Barry Williams
Yes, I am happily and recently married, one and one half years. My wife and I have not yet started a new "bunch". Stay tuned!
Victor asks:
Did you enjoy those special trips on The Brady Bunch such as the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, etc.? Also, what was Vincent Price like?
Barry Williams
For us, getting out of the studio and on location was the highlight of our year. Vincent Price was the nicest, most professional, and enthusiastic guest star we had. He always was the first on the set, and the last to leave. He also made appearances on our variety show, later on.
Terri asks:
Have you ever appeared in any other shows with your old co-workers?
Barry Williams
We have appeared on The MTV Movie Awards, talk shows, and many cast members participated in an episode of "Day By Day". Which, I was unavailable for because I was on Broadway performing in the musical "Romance/Romance".
Chris664 asks:
Did you want the show to last longer than it actually did?
Barry Williams
I wanted to have one more year. And, was disappointed when we were cancelled at the end of year five. But, it has worked out OK.
Shandi1960 asks:
Barry, I remember when you were on General Hospital years ago..did you like doing soaps?
Barry Williams
It is very demanding work. Actors describe soaps as the velvet coffin. Steady work, very hard. But I enjoyed my limited run with Emma Samms on GH.
Katie9 asks:
Do you still get a lot of fan mail from fans who now have families of their own?
Barry Williams
Yes, and families communicate with me via my web site, and I love hearing from them. Also, as a part of participating tonight, if you log on and make a request I will make you an honorary Brady. For LIFE!
Bruce says: I believe we need more TV shows that show close tight knit families such as The Brady Bunch. Do you agree?
Barry Williams
Yes. I think television has a role in setting examples, not necessarily for the way things are, but, for the way things can be. Maybe you will become a producer, and create a show.
Mr. Williams, thank you for taking the time to be here this evening! What final thoughts would you leave with the audience?
Barry Williams
Thank you for participating in this chat. Please continue to stay in touch. And I hope to see you at one of my stops this year and next. With "The Sound Of Music". Keep on groovin'!
Barry thanks for chatting on And thanks to all those who submitted questions. If you would like to continue this conversation, please visit our 20/20Downtown message board. Good night!

BOARDS: Downtown: What do you think? LIVE

Related Stories
Recent Chats

Downtown: The Real 'Mike Brady'


W E B  L I N K