‘The Brady Bunch’: How Barry Williams Convinced Show Producers to Include a Surfing Scene in the ‘Hawaii Bound’ Episode

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Brady Bunch star Barry Williams still remembers, in vivid detail, how he talked studio executives into an extra week in Hawaii.

Williams, who played oldest Brady Bunch brother, Greg, recalled the show’s Hawaii episodes during an interview earlier this month in Tampa, Fla. He’s 66 years old with two grown children. But so many people want to ask him about his teenage years, back when he was a part of the most popular TV family in the country.

So about that Hawaii trip. The Brady Bunch filmed three episodes in and around Honolulu in 1974 to kick off the fourth season of the show. Mike Brady, the dad, came home one day with great news. His company was sending him to Hawaii to check on a construction project. And Carol, plus the kids and Alice could make the trip, too, all expenses paid. Of course, everyone in the family cheered the news about beach time, although it did seem like a stretch that a company would pick up the tab for nine people to head to Hawaii. But that’s Hollywood.

Barry Williams said he pitched the idea of Greg surfing in Hawaii to the Brady Bunch producers.

“I convinced the company that I should do my own surfing,” Williams recalled. “Because (they) wanted to use a stuntman, when I told him that I was an expert surfer. But I said one thing, ‘the waves in Hawaii are a little bit different than they are here in California, so it would be a good idea to send me to Hawaii a week early to practice. I’m only thinking about your time schedule for the show, all for the show.’ ”

“So I had three great weeks of surfing over there,” Williams said of his Hawaiian Brady Bunch adventure. “It was really, really a lot.”

Williams Said He Kept One Souvenir from Brady Bunch Hawaii Trip

Then Williams showed off his Tiki necklace, which was a central theme to the three Hawaii episodes. The Tiki ended up as a bad luck charm for anyone who wore it. Williams kept it as a souvenir of his time on the Brady Bunch.

He also was wearing the necklace when he wiped out while surfing. And maybe the necklace did have an impact. He wasn’t supposed to suffer such a spectacular accident.

“But that particular wipeout was not planned,” Williams said. “Oh, that came about as a result of filming later than we’d expected. And the tide had receded. There’s a coral bottom in Hawaii with rocks and coral heads. And as the tide receded, the coral heads became exposed. But out where we were catching the waves, I didn’t know that.

“So I came in as just as you saw on that wave and I saw the coral head and I was trying to avoid it when I tried to avoid it. I lost my balance and hit it instead. Uh oh, the irony. Fortunately … I turned around underwater, hit it with my feet. And that ended the surfing for the entire trip.”

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