‘The Brady Bunch’: Behind-the-Scenes Secret Reveals Tons of Hookups and Romances

It’s no surprise that people who work with one another on the set of a film or television show would develop complex relationships. After all, they’re in close quarters for long periods of time, and some demanding film schedules mean there is little time for socialization off the set.

This makes workplace friendships and feuds inevitable. It also means that many celebrities who find themselves working on the same set also see romantic sparks flying. Sometimes, these crushes lead to long-term relationships. Other times, they lead to brief flings before fizzling out.

These days, we’ve got social media accounts and many celebrity reporting sources to decode possible clues for an on-set relationship taking off, but back in the 1970s when The Brady Bunch was filming, it was a little easier to keep the flings secret. Of course, secrets don’t stay secret forever — especially in Hollywood — and several behind-the-scenes reports and memoirs from the actors have revealed that hookups were frequent. 

‘The Brady Bunch’ was groundbreaking at its time

The kids from The Brady Bunch in front of a blue background
The Brady Bunch | Getty Images

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When The Brady Bunch premiered in 1969, it really pushed the envelope of on-screen family portrayals. While divorce and step-parents were certainly major parts of American life by that time, it was rarely portrayed on TV.

The series showcased an architect named Mike Brady who had three sons. When he married a woman with three daughters, their blended family of eight was groundbreaking for network television. 

Portraying an alternative family dynamic might have been scandalous for some, but it was hard to take issue with The Brady Bunch when it came to family values. The show was so wholesome and over-the-top with its family-friendly lessons that some viewers wishing they could join the fictional family in order to have love and stability.

Not everyone was thrilled with the sticky sweet lessons embedded in the show, and Maureen McCormick — who portrayed the oldest daughter Marcia — found ways to rebel on and off the set when she deemed the plot lines repetitive and stale. From sneaking drinks with her underage “siblings” and convincing the girls on the set to go braless, McCormick challenged the saccharine dynamics of the show, but the audience was largely none the wiser. 

A dark sex scandal haunts ‘The Brady Bunch’

One rumor that has been going around for years is that there was an inappropriate sexual relationship on the set. Barry Williams portrayed the oldest of the Brady sons, Greg. He readily admits in his 1992 memoir Growing Up Brady that he was dealing with surging hormones as a teen actor on the set.

In fact, he was attracted to the actor who portrayed his own mother. Florence Henderson played matriarch Carol Brady, and she was 20 years older than Williams. 

Rumors swirled that a 16-year-old Williams had hooked up with his 36-year-old TV mom, but there was never anything to substantiate the claim. Henderson adamantly denies any inappropriate contact with her teenage co-star.

While Williams admits to having a bit of a crush, there is nothing to indicate that Henderson did anything to provoke or promote that situation. Although, according to Biography, he did once take her on a “date.” 

Real hookups did take place on ‘The Brady Bunch’

The darkest rumor about on-set romances for The Brady Bunch is not confirmed, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t steamy secrets on the set. Most people are aware that McCormick and Williams — just two years apart in age and the oldest of the child actors on set — had a romance.

They were clearly attracted to one another, and their flirty vibes even threw off the filming of some scenes that didn’t seem appropriate for a brother and sister. The pair ended up sharing a kiss, but their relationship never grew into anything very serious. 

Perhaps more shocking is the revelation that make-out sessions between the on-screen “siblings” were a common occurrence. The actor who played the youngest of the crew — little Cindy — admitted that many of the kids took a turn hooking up. “We led a sheltered life for part of the year so if there was anybody to crush on or try to date, it would be our counterparts,” she explained.

She and the actor who portrayed Bobby used to make out in the dog house. She said Eve Plumb, who played Jan, had a crush on Christopher Knight, who played Peter, and that the pair did eventually “hook up,” too. Apparently, when the cameras weren’t rolling, there was quite a lot of action on the set!