‘The Brady Bunch’: How Hair Color Factored into Casting of the Brady Kids

by Joe Rutland

Show producers for “The Brady Bunch” were taking every precaution, including the kids’ hair color, to provide a solid cast ABC.

It all gets covered in an article from Mental Floss.

Things were coming together for executive producer and show creator Sherwood Schwartz.

While those pesky parents had not been cast as of yet, Schwartz turned his attention to casting the Brady kids.

“The Brady Bunch” creator found 12 child actors to keep aboard. Schwartz hired blonde girls, blonde boys, brunette girls, and dark-haired boys.

‘The Brady Bunch’ Kids Had To Deal With Some Serious Hair Issues on Sitcom

Now Schwartz figured that there might be some different, contrasting hair colors in the cast.

When the dust settled, “The Brady Bunch” had six kids: Maureen McGovern, Barry Williams, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen, and Mike Lookinland. Schwartz even had to make sure those six had a reflection of hairstyles among them.

Lookinland, who played the youngest boy Bobby Brady, was put under the wringer because of his hair color. Robert Reed was hired to play father Mike Brady and he had dark hair. Well, the show dyed Lookinland’s hair so it looked dark under studio lights.

Olsen, who played the youngest girl Cindy Brady, had naturally blonde hair. It still was not light enough for show producers. Well, they would bleach her hair so she would have that special type of hair look on the show. One problem: Olsen was losing clumps of her har in Season 2. She went to Schwartz with her complaint and he told his staff to knock it off.

Lookinland Learned About Show Business In His Life As A 7-Year-Old

“The Brady Bunch” was a Friday night standard during its run on ABC. After it was canceled, the show would have spin-off specials and even TV movies based on the show.

Lookinland, though, definitely was a child actor who dealt with the harshness of Hollywood.

He talked about his experience with Deseret News. Lookinland started working at 7 years old.

“And I had never really been the kind of person who said to himself, ‘I want to be an actor. This is what I want to do,'” he said. “But it turns out that I ended up on one of the most popular shows ever.”

Lookinland had spent time wondering what life beyond “The Brady Bunch” might have looked like minus the show.

“I guess I just felt like I could go see what a normal kid would do with his life,” he said. “I tell ya, it hasn’t been in the news so much lately. But there was a time when child actors who made it big and then got into their 20s got in serious trouble.”