How ‘Brady Bunch’ Star Mike Lookinland Remembered Co-Star Florence Henderson

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for TV Land)

Mike Lookinland once shared that Florence Henderson had a special way of easing tensions on The Brady Bunch set.

In 2019—50 years after the debut of The Brady Bunch—the now-grown Brady kids got together to remember their favorite on-set memories. And of course, the legendary Florence Henderson made her way into the conversation.

As the six actors have said on many occasions, their Brady screen mom was more like a real mother figure. So they loved her just the same. And as Bobby Brady star Mike Lookinland said, she was also a real “hoot.”

Florence Henderson was really a hoot and she livened the place up,” he told NBC. “When things were tense and we maybe we were behind schedule or something, Florence would just crack a joke loud, with her big, loud voice. Oh, I remember that… I mean, we were just children. And I just can remember that being special. Those were special moments because you could see how the grown-ups interacted with each other and dealt with each other.”

Robert Reed Crashed the ‘Brady Bunch’ Set for Last Episode of Series

There was nothing but love between the cast members of The Brady Bunch. But not all of the actors got along with creator Sherwood Schwartz, especially Robert Reed. And the tension came to a head when the actor crashed the set during the last day of filming.

Reed famously despised most of the plot lines of the iconic 1970s sitcom. And he openly admitted that if he didn’t care so deeply for the child actors, he would have quit the series during the earliest years.

But instead, he stuck around and argued with Schwartz and the other writers constantly, hoping he could convince them to make The Brady Bunch a little more original. But, most of Reed’s efforts were made in vain.

And when Schwartz revealed the plot of the series finale, the actor decided he had enough. He wasn’t going to star in the episode. The plot, of course, showed Bobby getting into a get-rich-quick scheme selling a suspicious natural hair tonic. And after Greg tries some before his high school graduation, the tonic turns his hair bright orange.

As Schwartz recalled in a 1997  Television Academy Foundation interview, he agreed to write Robert Reed out of the show. But on the day of filming, the late actor showed up to watch from the sidelines. And when Schwartz asked him to leave, Reed refused. So the Paramount studio executives said they’d send two security guards to physically remove him.

“What about those six kids looking at their father being hauled off the set,” Schwartz worried. “I mean this is terrible.”

Schwartz eventually managed to salvage the situation by convincing Reed to go into going to his dressing room and listen to music with an invitation to return to set later.