‘The Brady Bunch’ Darkest Secret Is An Age-Inappropriate Cast Romance — But Is It True?

As one of the first American sitcoms to introduce a blended family to viewers, The Brady Bunch is a television staple. Even though the last episode aired in 1974, the idealized Brady family is still bringing comfort to viewers. Besides launching many of the young actors and actresses into stardom, the show also had its fair share of scandals.

The on-screen picture-perfect family was not always the case behind the scenes. Many of the on-set hookups and arguments were not revealed to fans until much later, including a rumored age-inappropriate cast romance. 

‘The Brady Bunch’ is a well-loved classic TV show

UNSPECIFIED – JANUARY 01: Photo of Brady Bunch (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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The 70s family comedy followed the marriage of single parents, Mike and Carol Brady, and the blending of their six children: Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, and Cindy. The family’s live-in housekeeper, Alice, helped the newlyweds keep the blended household running smoothly despite the daily chaos.

The well-loved show highlighted old-fashioned values and morals while covering relatable topics of sibling rivalry, bullying, smoking, and more. The classic TV show is so widely known that many of us can recite the story of a lovely lady and a man named Brady by heart. While the series only had a five-season run, it was and still is a popular classic. 

Who are the stars of ‘The Brady Bunch’?

Many of the actors and actresses that made up the iconic family of The Brady Bunch got their big break from the show. Most are best known for their roles in the classic comedy series.

Robert Reed portrayed Mike Brady, the head of the large family, alongside wife Carol, played by Florence Henderson. The Brady boys were played by, Barry Williams as oldest son Greg, Christopher Knight as Peter, and Mike Lookinland as Bobby. The three Brady girls Marcia, Jan, and Cindy were portrayed by Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb, and Susan Olsen.

The young leading stars made a splash in the entertainment industry with their roles in the legendary show, but some began to resent being associated with the family-friendly show after losing out on edgier roles. Another leading role and important part of the Brady family was that of housekeeper Alice played by Ann B. Davis. 

A surprising rumored cast romance

Cast romances are nothing out of the ordinary among co-stars who work so closely on sitcoms and movies. One of the most surprising rumored cast romances from The Brady Bunch was between Williams and Henderson, reports HuffPost.

The allegations that Henderson and Williams had an affair haunted the happily-married mother throughout her life. During the time of filming, Williams was 16, and Henderson was 36, which would have made quite the age-inappropriate romance.

Williams revealed in his 1992 memoir, Growing Up Brady, that he did have a crush on his on-screen mom. He wrote: “When those little things called hormones start kicking in, you get excited by even inanimate objects. It wasn’t that I sought to bed her. I just wanted to spend time with her.”

Although Henderson was known for humoring the young co-star, she states that things never went beyond a working relationship. One time the two did go out for dinner. However, since Williams did not have a driver’s license, the two were driven to their “date” by William’s older brother.

According to Biography, Henderson remarked about the dating rumor by saying: “I guess in a sense it was a date, because Barry thought it was. But of course, I had no idea that his intentions were to ‘date’ me. It has made for a good story though!”

The official statement from Henderson that the whole thing with her young cast member was “blown way out of proportion.”