‘The Brady Bunch’: Barry Williams Opens Up on Florence Henderson Being a Mom On and Off the Set

by Josh Lanier

Barry Williams said The Brady Bunch family acted as a family in a lot of respects. For instance, Florence Henderson, who played mom Carol Brady, behaved as the kids’ mom regardless if the cameras were rolling.

Williams was taking part in a question and answer session with MeTV when the topic of Henderson came up. The interviewer was curious if Henderson was as motherly as she seemed.

“Yes,” Williams said. “And she had a lot of practice as well. I don’t know if you’re aware of this Mike, but she had four children of her own that she was taking care of when she went home after taking care of us all day of course at work she had Alice to help. So that made it a lot easier for me. But yeah, she was a great mom and took a lot of care with us. Uh listen to us, encouraged us, and um was very supportive all through our lives. And it’s a lifetime lifelong friendship.”

Williams, who was already in his mid-teens when The Brady Bunch first aired, said Henderson saved most of the mothering for the younger kids. That’s probably why he felt it was OK to ask his TV mom on a date when he was only 16. Williams admitted to his crush on the then 36-year-old Henderson in his memoir.

She went, but only as friends, she has said.

“That whole thing with Barry got blown way out of proportion,” Henderson wrote on her website. “I guess in a sense it was a date because Barry thought it was. But of course, I had no idea that his intentions were to ‘date’ me. It has made for a good story though!”

Sadly, Henderson died in 2016. She was 82.

Williams on Why ‘The Brady Bunch’ Still Resonates

Barry Williams said he didn’t expect to still be speaking about The Brady Bunch 52 years after it first aired. But he had some theories as to why the show has kept its old fans and has found newer, younger ones while it airs in syndication.

“I covered my bases,” Williams said. “I didn’t think — nobody, nobody thought — it would kind of … live on for 50 years. … Because we didn’t have the technology for that. But I took the work very seriously. I had fun doing it, but I worked very hard to make sure that it was good as it could be because I knew would be on film. So somebody might see it.”

He said the entire cast and crew took what they did seriously, and that earnest approach has helped make the show seem authentic.

But he also admitted to getting lucky as syndication came along just as the show was ending, meaning The Brady Bunch will likely remain on the air in perpetuity.