20 Facts about 'The Brady Bunch' That You Might Not Know
Cult Classic, "The Brady Bunch," captured the hearts of fans everywhere. Even though fans were obsessed with the show there are some interesting facts they might not know.
"The Brady Bunch" is the classic show about a man named Brady who meets and marries Carol. Brady is an architect widower with three sons, Greg, Peter, and Bobby from his marriage while Carol has three daughters of her own, Marcia, Jan and Cindy.
The story follows the family and their eccentric helper Alice while they navigate life in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Los Angeles. It covered everything from dealing with boy problems, sharing bathrooms, losing their pets and even trying to become stars. Here are 25 facts fans might not know about "The Brady Bunch."
1. Six Kids Shared One Bathroom with No Toilet
If any of the fans watched the show like a hawk, they quickly realized that the Jack and Jill bathroom the Brady kids used was missing a toilet. At the time the show was being filmed, television networks were forced to follow strict rules which prohibited showing toilet bowls onscreen. To reduce costs and avoid needing tricky camera angles, the producers simply left a toilet out of the bathroom.
2. Carol Brady Was Supposed to Be a Divorcee
Fans were often perplexed about Carol's marriage status before she married Mike Brady. However, Sherwood Schwartz revealed in several interviews that he intended for Carol to be a divorcee but since divorce was a taboo for primetime television at the time he left it as a mystery.
3. Schwartz Developed The Concept with a Newspaper Statistic
“It's very rare that a writer knows exactly where his ideas come from,” producer Sherwood Schwartz revealed. “However, in the case of The Brady Bunch, I know exactly what inspired that show. It was just a four-line filler piece in the Los Angeles Times. Just a statistic. "
The statistic reportedly claimed that in "1965, 31 percent of all marriages involved people who had a child or children from a previous marriage." His initial scripts were turned down but after the film "Yours, Mine and Ours," did well at the box office, ABC Networks took an interest in Schwartz’s script.
4. Hair Color Played a Factor in Casting the Brady Kids
Since they cast the six Brady children first, they did not know what the parents would look like so Schwartz came up with a plan. He got a group of 12 child actors in groups of threes. He cast three blonde girls, three blonde boys, three brunette girls, and three dark-haired boys as it was decided the parents would have contrasting hair colors.
“As a consequence, to this day, there are three dark-haired girls and three blonde boys about 45 to 50 years old somewhere in the world who might have been "The Brady Bunch" kids,” Schwartz said in Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of the Brady Bunch As Told by the Father/Son Team Who Really Know. “And they are just finding that out if they're reading this book.”
5. "The Brady Bunch" never experienced rainy days
Looking back fans might be shocked to realize that in the entire time the show ran, there was never a single rainy day. The weather in the show was always sunny to mirror the perfect atmosphere of the Brady home.
6. The Attic expanded magically
During the season four finale called "A Room at the Top,” Greg (Barry Williams) and Marcia (Maureen McCormick) decided that they want to move into the full-sized attic in the Brady home. However, fans will recall that in the season two “Our Son, the Man” episode, Mike claimed the attic was a mere two and a half feet tall.
7. The actress playing Carol Brady wanted her to have a job
Florence Henderson wanted Carol Brady to have a job. In the show, her character spent her time handing out the brown-bag lunches, supporting her husband and doing needlepoint.
However, Florence revealed in various interviews that she actually wanted the matriarch to have a job. Unfortunately, the producers did not agree with her vision.
8. Cindy's lips was real
Actress Susan Olsen played Cindy and fans often wondered if Cindy's lisp was real or just for the show. In truth, Susan actually has an endearing real-life lisp
9. Cindy's hair was a problem
Since the hair color of the children was of utmost importance during casting, when Susan Olsen was cast as Cindy she was chosen for her naturally blonde tresses. However, producers decided that under the studio lights, it was not light enough and she was forced to regularly bleach her hair.
Unfortunately, the damaging process weakened her hair and it began to fall out during season two. She pleaded with Schwartz who immediately told producers to leave Cindy’s hair alone.
10. Gene Hackman was considered to play Mike Brady
Schwartz revealed that when Mike Brady he considered many options. They eventually settled on Reed because he was already contracted to Paramount.
“there were a number of men I wanted to interview, including Gene Hackman,” recalled Schwartz in Brady, Brady, Brady. “Paramount wouldn’t even okay Gene Hackman for an interview because he had a very low TVQ.”
11. Florence Henderson wasn't their first choice
Actress Joyce Bulifant was seriously preparing to take the role and appeared in most of the screen tests with the various child actors for their auditions. Especially since Schwartz envisioned Mrs. Brady as a wacky mom-type but when Emmy Award-winning Ann B. Davis signed on to play housekeeper Alice, the dynamic of the family changed. To keep the balance, they cast Florence Henderson.
12. Henderson missed the first six episodes of the show
Florence Henderson had just finished filming "Song of Norway" in Denmark when she landed the role on "The Brady Bunch." Since she was still in Denmark, they were forced to film without her at first.
“And so they started the show without me,” Henderson told NPR in 2014. “They did six episodes without me and then I filled in when I got back to the States.”
13. Barry Williams Experimented With Various Substances
Barry Williams played the eldest Brady brother. He led a typical 1970's teenage life and dabbled in various illegal substances.
“I went through a stage of experimentation as a kid,” Williams wrote on his blog. “I certainly never went to the set high again but I don’t like weed. It makes me feel dumb, paranoid, and hungry.”
14. There was love in the air on set
In his book, "Growing Up Brady" Barry Williams revealed that he and Maureen McCormick had their first kiss together during the show’s fourth season. They were madly in love by the time they filmed the final episode of that season. Lloyd Schwartzeven mentions trying to dissuade the growing relationship between the two because on-the-job romances rarely worked.
15. Marcia was really hit in the face
According to Schwartz, Christopher Knight could not hit the right target while they were filming the crucial football-tossing scene in “The Subject Was Noses.” Eventually, Schwartz was required to step in off-screen. He threw a perfect spiral and smacked Maureen in the nose.
16. Was Alice on a hunger strike?
Alice spent all her time in the kitchen feeding the Bradys but she never ate anything herself. No wonder she never needed her own bathroom.
17. Robert Reed was acting on another show
While acting on "The Brady Bunch, " Robert Reed was also acting on a recurring role as Lt. Adam Tobias on CBS detective drama “Mannix.”
18. There was Brady car mix-up
In Season 2, fans realized that in the episode “The Winner” that when Mike and Carol compete in an ice cream eating competition they arrived at the shop in a brown station wagon and left in a blue convertible.
19. Once a Brady, always a Brady
In 1977, Eve Plumb had been too busy to participate in the spinoff of the show called “The Brady Bunch Hour.” However, when “The Brady Bunch” debuted in the off-network syndication, she reprised her role as Jan.
20. Tiger tragically passed
After filming wrapped on the episode entitled “Katchoo,” Tiger’s trainer let the famous puppy out on the Paramount lot for his daily exercise. Unfortunately, while out, a careless driver hit Tiger and he passed away.
The replacement pooch resembled Tiger so well even the cast and production staff were fooled but when he would not follow directions they realized what happened. The directors were forced to nail his collar to the floor to keep him still to film the emotional scene where the boys bid their pup farewell.