Published On: Feb 12 2014 05:34:06 PM CSTUpdated On: Nov 07 2014 01:00:00 AM CST
With Christopher Knight, better known as Peter Brady, celebrating his 57th birthday on Friday, what better time to check in with the stars of "The Brady Bunch"?
Here's the story: The classic TV sitcom "The Brady Bunch" premiered on Sept. 26, 1969, starring (clockwise, from top left) Maureen McCormick, Florence Henderson, Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Robert Reed, Susan Olsen and Eve Plumb. The show ran for five seasons before ending on March 8, 1974.
Florence Henderson played Carol Brady, one of the all-time classic TV moms.
Apart from subsequent "Brady" reunion shows after the original series, Henderson over the years has guest-starred on such shows as "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island," "Hart to Hart," "Rosanne," "Ellen," "Ally McBeal" and "The King of Queens." She most recently appeared in cameos on the sitcoms "Instant Mom" and "Trophy Wife" and on the reality TV cooking competition "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off." She also appeared as a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2007 and 2010 and had a role as Grandma in 1995's "The Brady Bunch Movie." She has hosted her own talk show, "The Florence Henderson Show," since 2007, and started a cooking show, "Who's Cooking with Florence Henderson," in 2013, both on the cable network Retirement Living TV.
Robert Reed played "Brady Bunch" dad Mike Brady. Reed appeared in several "Brady"-related projects through 1990. Before starring on "The Brady Bunch," he had starred in the TV legal drama "The Defenders." Over the course of his career he was nominated for three Emmys, for his guest-starring role in a two-part episode of "Medical Center" and for his work on the miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man" and "Roots." He died after a six-month battle with colon cancer, with HIV infection a contributing cause to his death, on May 12, 1992, at age 59.
Maureen McCormick played Marcia Brady, Carol Brady's oldest daughter.
McCormick has starred in most, but not all, "Brady" reunion specials, and has guest-starred on such shows as "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island," "Touched by an Angel," "Moesha" and "Scrubs." She appeared as herself alongside Florence Henderson in the end credits of the movie "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" (throwing out an expletive to describe Marcia's tussles with sister Jan Brady), and on the reality shows "Celebrity Fit Club" in 2007 and "Gone Country" and "Outsider's Inn," both in 2008. She most recently appeared in the 2012 direct-to-video horror movie "Snow White: A Deadly Summer," alongside Eric Roberts.
Barry Williams played Greg Brady, the eldest of Mike Brady's three sons.
Since "The Brady Bunch," Williams has shared his time between roles on stage, public speaking and appearing on "Brady"-related projects. In 1992 he wrote the autobiography "Growing Up Brady," and served as executive producer of a television movie based on the tome in 2000. Like McCormick and Henderson, he appeared in the end credits of "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star." He also played a music producer in "The Brady Bunch Movie." His most recent screen credits came in the Syfy TV movies "Mega Piranha" in 2010 and "Bigfoot," co-starring with fellow former child star Danny Bonaduce, in 2012.
Eve Plumb played Jan Brady, the middle Brady daughter, with her jealousy of older sister Marcia or her awkward position as the middle child often fueling storylines on the show.
Plumb has appeared in not all, but most "Brady"-related projects since the original series ended. She has also guest-starred on such television shows as "The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island," "Wonder Woman," "The Facts of Life," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Army Wives," and the daytime dramas "All My Children" and "Days of Our Lives." She also appeared in the 2013 indie thriller "Blue Ruin" and in the Funny or Die musical web series "The Sisters Plotz," which has been made into a movie set for release later this year. She also is a self-taught painter who has been painting for more than 20 years.
Christopher Knight played Peter Brady, the middle Brady son.
Knight has appeared in all "Brady" reunion projects and had a cameo in 1995's "The Brady Bunch Movie." Over the years he has guest-starred on such shows as "One Day at a Time," "The Bionic Woman," "Happy Days" and "CHiPs," and on the daytime drama "Another World." From 2005-08, Knight starred in reality show "My Fair Brady" opposite his wife, Adrianne Curry (who he met on VH1's "Surreal Life"), a winner on the reality show "America's Next Top Model." More recently, he's had a guest-star role on "CSI" and appeared in the 2012 indie comedy-drama "Letting Go." Knight and Curry eventually separated in 2011 and were divorced in February 2012.
Susan Olsen played Cindy Brady, the youngest of the Brady daughters. She was portrayed as a naive, but occasionally precocious little girl, who was most often seen wearing her hair in pigtails and had a pronounced lisp.
Olsen has appeared in most, but not all, "Brady"-related reunion projects and has worked as graphic designer and artist. She also had a cameo in "The Brady Bunch Movie," but her scenes were deleted. In 2008 she was a contestant on the reality competition, "Gimme My Reality Show!" Most recently she's appeared in the TV movies "A Halloween Puppy" and "Holiday Road Trip."
Mike Lookinland played Bobby Brady, the youngest Brady son. The precocious and often overlooked youngest boy, Bobby was often portrayed as a whimsical dreamer, fantasizing about having various adventurous lifestyles, such as being a race car driver, a football star, a cowboy, and an astronaut.
Lookinland has appeared in all "Brady"-related reunion projects and taken the occasional guest role. But, for the most part, his work since "The Brady Bunch" has been behind the scenes, as an assistant cameraman in film and television, including the TV movie "The Stand" and series "Promised Land" and "Everwood." He also appeared as himself in the end credits of "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star."
Ann B. Davis played the family's housekeeper, Alice Nelson. Alice was the housekeeper to Mike Brady, his previous wife (who died before the series started), and their three boys. Alice stayed on, to be the housekeeper for not only his boys, but for his new wife, Carol, and her three daughters. She was known for her sky blue housekeeping uniform, which she almost always wore, and for telling jokes, which were almost invariably met with multiple "Oh, Alice!" responses from the family.
Davis joined an Episcopalian religious community in Denver after the show ended in 1974. She also appeared in several "Brady"-related projects and, according to the Internet Movie Database, became involved in prayer, Bible study and charity work in Texas. She also made a cameo appearance as a truck driver named "Schultzy," a reference to her Emmy-winning role on the 1950s sitcom "The Bob Cummings Show," in 1995's "The Brady Bunch Movie." Davis, seen here backstage at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards on April 14, 2007, died at age 88 on June 1, 2014.
For most of the series, Alice dated Sam Franklin (Allan Melvin), who ran the local butcher shop. In the final season of the show, Alice and Sam were engaged. They were married some time after the show left the air in 1974 and before the 1981 TV movie "The Brady Girls Get Married."
Melvin was also known for his roles on the TV shows "The Phil Silvers Show," "All in the Family" and "Archie Bunker's Place." When "Archie Bunker's Place" ended in 1983, Melvin's work was exclusively devoted to cartoon voice-overs. He died of cancer on Jan. 17, 2008, at age 84.
In the middle of the show's fifth and final season, producers added a new character named Oliver, Carol Brady's young nephew, who was sent to live with the Bradys while his parents were living in South America. Cousin Oliver, played by Robbie Rist, appeared on the final six episodes of the series, but was not well received by fans. The term "Cousin Oliver" has since come to be used to describe the addition of a young character to a series in an attempt to save a series from cancellation.
After "The Brady Bunch," Rist found roles in a variety of TV shows, including playing Ted Baxter's son David on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Dr. Zee on "Galactica 1980." He also made guest appearances on "CHiPs" "Trapper John, M.D." and "Knight Rider." He played Booger in the failed 1991 TV pilot "Revenge of the Nerds" and had a supporting role in 1986's "Iron Eagle." As an adult, he's found more success as a voice actor, voicing Michaelangelo in the live-action "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movies, playing the Siberian husky Star in 1995's "Balto" and lending his voice to TV series such as "Batman: The Animated Series," "Naruto" and "Doc McStuffins." One of his more recent higher-profile roles in front of the camera came as a school bus driver in the 2013 Syfy movie "Sharknado."
"Brady Bunch" creator Sherwood Schwartz, who also created "Gilligan's Island," died at age 94 on July 12, 2011.
The cast reunited at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, California, on April 14, 2007, and is seen here backstage with Kelly Ripa. Seen here is (from right to left) Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen, Ripa, Florence Henderson, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick and Christopher Knight.
The Brady family made it to the big screen in 1995 with the parody film "The Brady Bunch Movie," which saw the 1970s family placed in the 1990s. The film starred Shelley Long as Carol Brady (top, center), Gary Cole as Mike Brady (bottom, center) and Christine Taylor as Marcia Brady (top, left).
"The Brady Bunch" had a variety of stars make cameos on the show over its five seasons, some as characters and some playing themselves. One of the most memorable was Jim Backus, better known for playing Mr. Thurston Howell III (aka "The Millionaire") on "Gilligan's Island" and as the voice of "Mr. Magoo." Backus appeared three times in "The Brady Bunch," including appearances in two of the three Grand Canyon episodes, "Ghost Town U.S.A." and "Grand Canyon or Bust," playing Zaccariah T. Brown, a prospector who mistakenly thinks the Bradys are jumping his gold claim and locks them in a ghost-town jail. He also played Mike Brady's boss in a fifth season episode.
But Backus wasn't the only "Gilligan's Island" alumnus to appear on "The Brady Bunch." Natalie Schafer, who played Lovey Howell, Backus' character's wife, on "Gilligan's Island," played Penelope Fletcher, a fussy client of Mike Brady's who is charmed by Cindy's impromptu Shirley Temple routine in fifth season episode "The Snooperstar."
Legendary horror film actor Vincent Price appeared in the three-part Hawaii vacation episodes kicking off the show's fourth season in 1972, playing the villainous Professor Hubert Whitehead, who holds the Brady boys hostage.
Desi Arnaz Jr., the teen heartthrob son of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, played himself during the show's first season, appearing in the episode "The Possible Dream." In the episode, Cindy gives away Marcia's diary, in which she wrote of her crush on Arnaz, who later shows up at the Brady's house because Alice knows Lucille Ball's housekeeper.
Arnaz was hardly the only Marcia Brady crush to appear on the show. Davy Jones of The Monkees famously appeared in the third season episode "Getting Davy Jones," performing at a music studio and then taking Marcia to her school dance. He also satirized his cameo decades later in "The Brady Bunch Movie."
Famous Hawaiian singer Don Ho (second from left) played himself 1972's "Hawaii Bound," the first of the three-part Hawaii vacation episodes. In the episode, he sang for Cindy and Bobby after they run into him outside of the Sheraton Waikiki.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, and future Hall of Famer, Don Drysdale dropped in on the Bradys in the second season episode "The Dropout." After stopping by to take a look at plans for a house Mike was designing for him, he gives some baseball tips to Greg that go immediately to his head.
Deacon Jones, a defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams and a 1980 inductee of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, appeared as himself in the second season episode "The Drummer Boy," encouraging Peter's singing.
In perhaps the most famous "Brady Bunch" cameo ever, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath appeared in the fifth season episode "Mail Order Hero," where Bobby lies to his friends when he tells them that he knows Namath. The Super Bowl III MVP ended up visiting Bobby because he thought that Bobby had a terminal illness thanks to a letter Cindy wrote. He also appeared in uniform during a dream sequence earlier in the episode in which he tosses a game-winning touchdown to Bobby in a backyard game of football.
NASA astronaut Brig. Gen. James McDivitt, who commanded the Gemini 4 and Apollo 9 spaceflights, appeared in the fifth season episode "Out of This World," signing autographs for Peter and Bobby after appearing on a talk show.