The Brady Bunch star Barry Williams said he’s come to terms with his “Brady celebrity,” though it took some time. Fame is a sword without a hilt, and Williams said he found out how unwieldy it can be.
The complicated answer, Williams said, is yes. But he made peace with it.
After the show ended, Barry Williams was inseparable from Greg Brady. And no one wanted to him hire, despite him being one of the most recognizable actors in the world.
“It was strange for me for the first few years after we stopped filming the show. I was done with it and wanted to move on,” he said. “I only resented the character when it interfered with getting new work. I’d become very active and successful in musical theatre, and as time went on and I juggled between theatre and TV and singing, I made my peace. Then I wrote a best-selling book called Growing Up Brady, and I was grateful again for the show.”
He admitted once to struggling with his own image. The Brady Bunch made the kids seem almost saintly. They couldn’t live up to that image. Tabloids and gossip columnists enjoyed watching them slip up.
“I think it runs counter to the imaging,” Williams said. “People, like tabloids, they will jump on anything if they think it concerns a Brady because of the wholesome imaging of it. None of us, I don’t think, is as wholesome as the Bradys portray.”
The Brady Bunch Tries to Move on From Show
Most of the actors from the show had similar sentiments, but each had their own journey to get there. And after the show ended all of the actors — sans Robert Reed — struggled to find work.
“Being a former Brady and trying to do anything in the industry was extremely uncool,” Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) said in The Brady Bunch Exposed documentary. “And there was not really any respect for us. It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re on that stupid saccharine-sweet show. It’s like, well, I didn’t write the scripts.”
When Paramount Studios canceled the show in 1975, all of the cast had to find new work. Williams admits his ego didn’t help his cause.
“(From the time I) started in the business from the time I was about 10 until 20, it had all been one straight rise,” Williams recalls in the documentary. “So, why then at 20 should it take a nosedive? And when it did, it is extremely humbling and it is extremely difficult to adjust to.”
After eking out a living in Hollywood — mostly from The Brady Bunch films and TV specials, Barry Williams moved to Branson, Missouri where he still lives. He created the 1970s Music Celebration! Starring Barry Williams and performed it for six years. He still acts on stage and performs with his band The Traveliers.