The Brady Bunch provided laughs and feel-good moments for viewers and family across the United States. However, it wasn’t always so peachy behind the scenes.
In some ways, that’s to be expected. The making of The Brady Bunch required diligence and progress as one of the biggest television shows in history. The show’s five-year run featured 117 episodes and several spin-off movies in the 15 years or so after its airing.
Besides the internal pressure of success, many actors, such as Christopher Knight, had more weight on him than some fans might realize. The Peter Brady actor was just a child, but his life at home was closer to business than a classic family.
According to Huffington Post, Knight went on Oprah Winfrey vehicle Oprah: Where Are They Now? to discuss his childhood.
‘The Brady Bunch’ Actor Christopher Knight Explains Parents
Knight’s parents didn’t look at his role on the show and potential career on-screen as a positive. But not due to being “old school” or distrusting the future of entertainment. Instead, it was due to their work in the arts.
“My mom was an artist and my dad was a stage actor,” Knight said, adding that his parents thought, “Television was just a place you had to go to earn some money because real actors worked on stage.”
Although his parents had hang-ups about television, they weren’t in much of a place to turn away from it.
“My family is very educated and nearly homeless, and that’s how I grow up. My dad, he was unemployed. Literally, his solution early when there wasn’t any money — and there was my brother and myself, 13 months apart — he said, ‘Feed them every other day.’ I think that’s when my mom said that she realized there might be a problem.”
Knight Landed Spot, But Didn’t Feel Much Better
Knight ended up on The Brady Bunch at the age of 10. With the quick-rising success of the show, it seems like it might have felt like a breakthrough for Knight and his family.
However, the now-63-year-old actor said it felt quite the opposite.
“I’m feeling totally prostituted at that point by my mom,” Knight said about his feelings at the time. “I think in a way, I totally was, and by her own admission it was, and that she was sorry about it.”
Knight’s family was approaching stability with his new-found success. In an even more brutal bit of context, Knight details how he realized that his childhood was being used as a bartering tool.
“But at the same time, I’m going, ‘Yeah, but that kind of sacrifices me in the process,’” Knight said. “Maybe it was conscious on her part. Maybe it was worth the sacrifice.”
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