‘The Brady Bunch’: Why Barry Williams Considered Robert Reed a ‘Mentor’ and Not a Father-Figure

by Keeli Parkey
the-brady-bunch-why-barry-williams-considered-robert-reed-mentor-not-father-figure

In May 2021, one of the stars of “The Brady Bunch” participated in a live-hosted event with MeTV Tampa Bay. The discussion covered many topics related to the popular sitcom, including the man who played the Brady family patriarch.

The star who participated in the event, which was hosted by Mike Deeson, was Barry Williams. He famously played the oldest Brady son, Greg, in the series. Unsurprisingly, their conversation eventually landed on the topic of actor Robert Reed, who played Mike Brady.

Before he was on “The Brady Bunch,” Reed appeared in other television shows, including “The Defenders.” According to IMDb.com, this show aired from 1961 until 1965. Reed passed away on May 12, 1992, at the age of 59.

Deeson asked Barry Williams about his relationship with television father during the live event.

“(Robert Reed) was pretty stern on that show – on ‘The Defenders,'” Deeson pointed out. “And, he just seemed like Mr. Nice Guy on ‘The Brady Bunch.’ Was he a father-type figure? What was he like to work with?”

Williams answered the question by pointing out that Reed was very good at being an actor.

“Well first, he is an actor. So, he knows both how to be stern and how to be a nice guy. – both in his pocket. He was a dramatic actor. And, he was a classically trained actor,” Williams explained. “He approached ‘The Brady Bunch’ in the same way he approached ‘The Defenders.’ And, that was with believability and firmness and trying to make sense, even though the kind and style of humor that we had was very, very different.”

Barry Williams Said Robert Reed Taught Him About Acting Behind the Scenes on ‘The Brady Bunch’

Barry Williams then said that his television father was not that behind the scenes. Robert Reed was something else important to him.

“I would say he was more of a mentor than a father figure,” Williams explained. “Well first, I had a great father at home. But, (Robert Reed and I) would talk show business. And, we would do acting techniques and things.”

It was behind the scenes on “The Brady Bunch” where Barry Williams learned a lot about acting from his mentor.

“For instance, (Robert Reed) used to love to break down scenes. We would take a scene. We would read it back and forth,” Williams recalled. “And he said, ‘OK. Now let’s do it this way. Let’s try and make it mean something very different than the actual scene means.’ And then, we would try to make a different kind of emphasis on it.”

Williams also explained that what he learned from his mentor stayed with him.

“Those are all things – techniques – that I’ve taken on through my life,” he also said. “That was nice.”

Outsider.com