Generations of kids, in fact, numerous generations of kids thanks to reruns, all grew up watching the Brady Bunch. Despite the fact the series was hugely popular and well watched, there are few people who probably knew everything when it comes to the story of television’s most beloved family. Here’s the story of a family that started out with a different mom, a different dad and scant places where people could actually go the bathroom in a house that was supposed to be designed by an architect. You’ll never believe some of the little factoids that were floating around the series.
The Brady Bunch’s producer, Sherwood Schwartz, got the idea from the show from a four line statistic he saw in the newspaper. The producer said that he read a line that in 1965, 31 percent of all marriages involved people who had a child or children from a previous marriage. This was a big change for the American culture in general and Schwartz wanted to show what that kind of family might look like.
Florence Henderson almost missed out on being “America’s mom.” Comedic actress Joyce Bulifant was the first person the series cast to be Mrs. Brady and they producers were so sure she was going to have the role that she took part in most of the screentests for the child actors. When Ann B. Davis was signed on to play the maid, Alice, the creators decided they didn’t need such a funny mom and landed on Henderson instead.
Gene Hackman was one of Sherwood Schwartz’s first choices to take on the role of Mike Brady. He was eventually overruled because back then, Hackman wasn’t known enough to TV audiences.
The year after the Brady Bunch debuted, Hackman starred in The French Connection and won an Oscar.