Happy Birthday Ann B. Davis: Remembering ‘The Brady Bunch’s Beloved Alice Nelson

by Joe Rutland
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Let’s take a few minutes and celebrate the life of Ann B. Davis, who played Alice Nelson on “The Brady Bunch.” Davis’s birthday is May 3.

Davis, who would have been 95 on Monday, died on June 1, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. Her career and life make up for quite an interesting story.

She was born on May 3, 1926, in Schenectady, N.Y., and attended the University of Michigan.

TV viewers around the world know her as Alice, the housekeeper in the Brady household. Her interactions in the show with Mike and Carol Brady, along with the six Brady children, are priceless. Alice also had a love interest on the side with meat market owner Sam, played by character actor Allan Melvin.

‘The Brady Bunch’ Star Won Two Emmys For Work On Earlier Show

But Davis’ career wasn’t all wrapped up in “The Brady Bunch.” In fact, she picked up two Emmy Awards for her role as Charmaine “Schultzy” Schultz on “The Bob Cummings Show” between 1955-59. Davis received four Emmy nominations for this role alone.

She also spent time on Broadway, replacing Carol Burnett in 1960 in the lead role for “Once Upon A Mattress.”

This all happened before executive producer Sherwood Schwartz cast her as Alice on “The Brady Bunch.” From 1969-74, Davis dutifully played her role on the ABC sitcom. She didn’t receive any Emmy nominations from the show, but she became part of a worldwide phenomenon as new generations find the Bradys thanks to reruns.

Davis Moved Out Of Los Angeles, Lived In Episcopal Church Community

Davis appeared in a number of reunion movies over the years. While never actually retiring from acting, her life on stage and TV tapered off a bit after the 1990s. Davis did make an appearance in 2007 when “The Brady Bunch” received the TV Land Pop Culture Award. She got a standing ovation from the crowd at the event.

Yet living in Los Angeles after “The Brady Bunch” ended wasn’t her cup of tea. Davis sold her Los Angeles house and moved into an Episcopal Church community in Colorado in 1976. She moved with the community to Pennsylvania, then eventually to San Antonio.

Davis was quite active in the Episcopal Church throughout her life, serving at the General Convention while attending services at churches around the United States.

A lot of people might wonder if Davis was ever married or had children. There’s no record of her being romantically involved with someone else in her lifetime. Same goes for having children while alive, too.

Yet people who watch “The Brady Bunch” now and in the future hold Ann B. Davis and her character, Alice Nelson, close to their hearts. Here’s wishing a heavenly birthday to you, Ms. Davis.

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