‘The Brady Bunch’ Actor Explained How Creator Sherwood Schwartz Was ‘Fatherly’

by Joe Rutland

“The Brady Bunch” definitely has all the feelings of a family doing their best together. Show creator Sherwood Schwartz wanted that vibe.

Schwartz, who also created “Gilligan’s Island” on CBS, was executive producer and show creator for this ABC family sitcom.

One star, though, remembers him in a kind, gentle way.

“Well Sherwood Schwartz could tell you because I think he saw them all,” Florence Henderson said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. “But he was very, I guess, fatherly to these kids.

‘The Brady Bunch’ Star Said Show Creator Felt Close To Child Actors

“He really felt so close to them that he had such definite ideas about what they should do or shouldn’t do,” she said. “I think as they grew and developed very definite ideas of their own, I think that was sometimes very hard for Sherwood.”

Henderson played Carol Brady on the sitcom, holding the role for all five seasons it was on the air. The show made Henderson a household name, but she’d been working on television, nightclubs, and Broadway before “The Brady Bunch” came along.

Schwartz himself became a name for TV networks to hear out thanks to “Gilligan’s Island.” The show about seven stranded castaways lasted three seasons yet pulled in solid ratings. The only reason that show got canned, reportedly, is “Gunsmoke” fans wanted to see the western show more.

Being “fatherly” to the Brady child actors may have been natural to Schwartz. Still, it was something he found himself doing throughout its five-season run.

Henderson died on Nov. 24, 2016, at 82 years old. Schwartz died on July 12, 2011, at 94 years old.

Henderson Had A Knack For Loosening Up Tense Set With One Act

Thanks to Henderson’s years on television, she could tell when things were getting a bit tense among the actors on the set.

She discovered a way to loosen everybody up in those moments. It’s one of the things actor Mike Lookinland, who played Bobby, remembers quite well.

“Florence Henderson was really a hoot,” Lookinland said in a 2019 reunion spot on NBC’s “Today” show. “She livened the place up. When things were tense and maybe we were behind schedule or something, Florence would crack a joke loudly, with a loud voice.”

Jokes work when people are too focused on their stuff. Having a voice that cracks people up when doing them? That wins a person’s points.

Lookinland, who is out of show business, and others from “The Brady Bunch” can keep this memory close to their hearts.