‘The Brady Bunch’: Why One of Barry Williams’ Favorite TV Shows is ‘Bonanza’

by Joe Rutland

Imagine being a child actor on “The Brady Bunch” and visiting one of television’s greatest shows all the time. It happened to Barry Williams.

Williams, who played Greg Brady on the ABC sitcom, talks about spending time with “Bonanza” star Lorne Greene. Heck, Williams, who was a teenager when “The Brady Bunch” was on network TV, even remembers going to visit the show on the Paramount Studios lot.

“I think because I am a little biased because this show filmed next door to us,” Williams said in an interview with MeTV Tampa Bay’s Mike Deeson. “I got to go on their set, I got to play tennis with this man.

‘The Brady Bunch’ Star Calls Classic TV Western ‘A Family Show’

“It was at that time when they were filming who was known as perhaps the most famous person in the world,” he said. “But the show was a classic, again, a family show and so I’m going to go with this guy.”

Then Williams holds up a picture of Greene in his Ben Cartwright outfit.

“Lorne Greene,” Deeson said. “Yeah, what a voice he had. When he spoke, what a voice.”

Williams was part of “The Brady Bunch,” which was created by “Gilligan’s Island” creator Sherwood Schwartz, for its entire five-season run. He also would appear in TV specials and movies after the show’s initial run ended in 1974. At this time, Williams is the oldest-living original cast member at 66 years old.

‘Bonanza’ Finds Itself Among Top Two Westerns In TV History

“Bonanza” is among the longest-running TV series in the medium’s history. It stayed on NBC for 14 seasons and Greene stayed in the saddle as “Ponderosa” patriarch Ben Cartwright. The show ranks No. 2 in longevity as a western TV series with CBS’s powerhouse “Gunsmoke” and its 20-season run entrenched at No. 1.

Besides Greene, his costars included Michael Landon as “Little Joe” Cartwright, Dan Blocker as “Hoss” Cartwright, and Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright. The series’ cast would change over the years. Roberts would leave the show and, sadly, Blocker died in 1972.

The loss of Blocker was something “Bonanza” tried to overcome by adding other actors. “Bonanza” only lasted a few more months on NBC after his death, ending its successful run in January 1973.

Iconic Opening Credits Scene for ‘Brady Bunch’ Remains Part of Classic TV

“The Brady Bunch” had one of television’s most iconic opening scenes. If you recall, then the opening credits would show both Robert Reed and Florence Henderson in separate scenes with their three sons and daughters. Reed and Henderson played parents Mike and Carol Brady, respectively.

Then it would turn into a tic-tac-toe type of collective as everyone would look up, down, left, or right depending on their placement.

As soon as the show’s title would appear, a space in the middle would appear for Ann B. Davis, who played Alice the housekeeper, to pop in real quick.

It remains one of those show openings that classic TV fans don’t forget.