5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Brady Bunch

Off-screen trivia about America's favorite TV family

By The Editors


The Missing Toilet
Although we saw the Brady’s’ bathroom dozens of times, viewers never once saw a toilet. The running joke was that the Bradys were so squeaky clean and wholesome that they didn’t even go to the bathroom. The truth is ABC’s censors refused to allow a toilet to be shown on television.

Mike Brady Only Stayed for the Kids
Mike Brady was the quintessential family man, but actor Robert Reed allegedly hated the role, thinking it unchallenging and beneath his acting capabilities. According to People, “He made his unhappiness known, firing off sarcastic memos to the show’s creator Sherwood Schwartz, changing dialogue and, when he was truly frustrated, heading off to an Irish pub near the Paramount studio and downing three Scotches.” Reed considered leaving if the show was renewed for a sixth season, but stayed because of his bond with his younger costars.

Where is Carol’s Ex-Husband?
The series clearly implied that Mike Brady’s first wife had died, but the status of Carol’s first marriage was never mentioned. In interviews, Florence Henderson joked that she “just got rid of him,” but the Schwartz revealed that Carol was divorced. ABC didn’t want to mention it because they thought divorce was too risqué for that time period.

Life Imitating Art
The tension between Marsha and Jan Brady (played by Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb, respectively) wasn’t just for the screen. Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady, revealed that Plumb “got tired of Maureen gaining attention for herself by regurgitating the tiresome and false insinuations that they had a lesbian affair.” Their feud lives on as Plumb allegedly refuses to appear at any reunion events if  McCormick is there.

The Real Mike Brady
Robert Reed was a closeted gay man. He admitted it to Henderson after she noticed that he was uncomfortable in their romantic scenes. He and Henderson then rehearsed romantic scenes off-camera so Reed would be more comfortable when it came time to film. The cast knew about Reed’s sexuality and kept it a secret until after his death.

“I don’t think The Brady Bunch could have existed at that time with the public knowing that Robert Reed was gay,” Henderson told ABC News. “I just don’t think they would have bought it.” 


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