Barry Williams and the rest of the cast were excited to begin shooting the sixth season of The Brady Bunch in a few days when he got the call. It was bad news.
The person on the other end was blunt. Producers had canceled the show and they were all now out of work.
“I was gone; I was out, and that was a major wake-up call,” he told Closer Weekly. “A wake-up call to the business and what to expect. Here today, gone tomorrow. Done. It’s been nice, that’s been fun. The machine marches on, not just in show business, of course, but for someone who didn’t see that coming… And many children, kids, don’t, especially when they’re protected for so many years. Then it’s quite a shock.”
Shortly after the cancellation, Williams returned to the studio lot to get his things. The security guard wouldn’t let him inside, even though they’d known each other on a first-name basis for five years. Williams eventually got inside but found his parking space had already been painted over only days after he was told the show was finished.
It would seem so jarring an experience, that one could easily become bitter, and it’s curious that Barry isn’t. Though he’s quick to point out, “I can’t say that all of us didn’t get bitter over it. The meat market in Hollywood is always about new. It’s always about fresh. It’s always about different. I’d been on a show for five years. The producers, casting director, studios, networks tend to put you on hold for a bit, like a few years, to kind of let everything cool off before you’ll start working again. That’s when you either grow up, or you get bitter and stay there.”
Barry Williams Thrived After Leaving ‘Bunch’
Barry Williams said the initial shock of losing fame and success can tear a person’s life apart — particularly child stars. But he was able to avoid most of those pitfalls and continue a busy career in show business, he told Closer Weekly.
He left television altogether for a time and followed some of his other passions, he said. Mostly in Branson, Missouri, which is generally considered a more family-friendly Las Vegas.
“I decided to go outside television,” he said. “I started a whole new career in musical theater and flourished. So that’s worked out fine with me and I’ve been able to integrate television back into it. Now I’ve been active in nearly every aspect of show business — certainly all the aspects I’m interested in — with some degree of success. Which would be television and musical theater, including Broadway and national tours.
“I’ve performed in Las Vegas, I’ve recorded CDs, I’ve written a bestselling book, I’ve produced that book into a television movie for NBC, I’ve been a radio DJ on Sirius, I’ve been a writer on different TV shows, I’ve had my own TV show, A Very Barry Branson, that was about my adventures as a big fish/small pond kind of thing here in Branson, and that was a musical variety rock and roll show called ‘70s Music Celebration. So I’m pleased. Things have worked out just fine.”
He’s stayed busy since stepping away from the iconic Greg Brady role. Though, productions often ask him to reprise it in other films, television shows, and at least one rap song. That’s right, he performed a parody of Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” called “The Real Greg Brady.” Enjoy.