Back when The Brady Bunch aired, families all over the country looked forward to the half-hour after work and school that they could sit together on the sofa and watch their favorite sitcom together.
It was a show that had humor for both kids and adults, while always delivering a life lesson at the end of each episode. More than just an entertaining program, The Brady Bunch helped to bridge the gap between parents and their children and opened the door to better communication and family bonding.
Although the show only ran for five seasons between 1969 and 1974, it’s still one of the most popular family sitcoms on TV and has influenced the creation of many others.
Of course, the show’s success with American families was largely possible because it had such a great cast. Part of the legendary cast of well-meaning, good-natured children was Mike Lookinland, who portrayed little Bobby Brady, the youngest of the three sons.
Bobby often found himself in innocent mishaps, not unlike his run-in with the washing machine, when he dumped the whole box of detergent into the drum and ended up lost in a sea of bubbles. The naive and innocent one of the bunch, he was the character that had viewers saying, “Bless his heart.”
‘The Brady Bunch’ Actor Tried to Escape Stardom
Now, 52 years after the show began, The Brady Bunch star is only a bit older at 60-years-old. Being a child star certainly had its perks, but for Lookinland and several other co-stars, it also meant having to quickly grow up on set. When the show ended, Lookinland was only 13, but he could never have a typical childhood. And at that age, every kid just wants to fit in.
At just 17-years-old, The Brady Bunch star Mike Lookinland had enough of the Hollywood life. After graduating high school, Lookinland packed his bags and made a new life for himself in Utah. Desperate to escape the world of agents and managers, the former Brady family member attended the University of Utah to start a new career path.
“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,” Lookinland said to Deseret News. “Where you’re a big star but you became a big star when you were a child and screwed up your life in your 20s.”
Lookinland Discusses Importance of Show for Young Viewers
For kids that grew up outside of Hollywood, though, The Brady Bunch helped ensure that children grew up in a nurturing environment. In fact, the sitcom was an educational aid for parents when teaching their kids valuable life lessons.
“If you’re a parent, you can definitely feel good about sitting your children down and putting on a DVD of ‘The Brady Bunch,'” Lookinland shared. “There’s nothing bad about that. But I think it’s more the kids that see those values.”
He continued, “It’s a show made for children. The struggles we all face seem big, but we can get through it together, and I think kids just really take to that and know that that’s something to value, so that’s why it’s staying on, is because children keep watching it.”