Does it surprise you that one of the “Gilligan’s Island” castaways appeared on “The Brady Bunch”? Surely you jest, but yes it did happen.
Who was that castaway that showed up? Why it was none other than Jim Backus. You know him. Backus played rich-dude Thurston Howell III, who got caught up in a storm aboard the S.S. Minnow. We see him and the other stranded castaways trying to make life work on “Gilligan’s Island.”
But we’re talking about “The Brady Bunch” in this story, Outsiders.
Actor Played Two Different Roles in Three Episodes of ‘The Brady Bunch’
Backus played Zaccariah T. Brown in the two-part show based on the Bradys being out in the Grand Canyon. Those episodes were called “Grand Canyon or Bust” and “Ghost Town, U.S.A.” Those were in the 1970-71 season.
Then, in the 1973-74 season, he played Harry Mathews in an episode called “The Hustler.” Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed, gets a pool table as a thank-you gift from his boss, Mr. Mathews. Well, the boss stops by to check on the pool table and takes on Bobby Brady, played by Mike Lookinland. It appears Bobby has become a young “Minnesota Fats” on the table.
So, Mr. Mathews takes on Bobby for a game. The kid ends up beating Mike’s boss and, well, that causes some issues.
Backus Was On ‘Gilligan’s Island’ For All Three Seasons Show Aired On CBS
Backus did appear on “Gilligan’s Island” in all three seasons it was on CBS. Obviously, the show has picked up a fan base over the years in syndication.
The actor also had two other notable roles, one in the movies and another in animation. Can you guess? OK, we’ll fill you in on the details. Backus played the father role in “Rebel Without a Cause,” which starred James Dean. He also provided the voice for the cartoon character “Mr. Magoo.”
Backus died on July 3, 1989, at 76 years old. He’d suffered from Parkinson’s disease for many years
Actress Eve Plumb Said Family Sitcom Was ‘Nice, Safe, Fun Show’ With Bradys
“The Brady Bunch” lasted for five seasons on ABC between 1969-74.
Why does a show like, well, “The Brady Bunch,” have such a forever-like quality to it?
Actress Eve Plumb, who played Jan Brady, said it revolves around such familiarity. TV viewers who pick up a show on the tube know what’s happening on the sitcom. It’s not going to be rocket science, either.
“It was a very nice, safe, fun show, knowing that nothing scary was going to happen and that problems would be solved in 20 minutes,” Plumb said in an interview with The New York Post in 2019. “It was familiar — like a chocolate chip cookie.”