‘The Brady Bunch’: Florence Henderson Said Barry Williams Had a ‘Serious Crush on Me’ and Described Their Infamous Date
The Brady Bunch remains an iconic sitcom despite airing its final episode over 40 years ago. Centered around newlyweds Mike Brady (Robert Reed) and his wife Carol (Florence Henderson), the show featured the daily lives of their blended family with six kids.
Barry Williams portrayed eldest son Greg on the series. Despite playing his mom on set, Henderson was escorted by the young actor on a dinner date during their time as co-stars. While the incident has garnered numerous rumors over the years, Henderson wanted to set the record straight.
Florence Henderson didn’t want to reject her co-star
In his book Growing Up Brady, Williams talked about his crush on Henderson and working up his courage to ask her out. While promoting his memoir, Williams and Henderson both talked about their one-time date in interviews, yet Henderson wanted to give a more accurate account.
“Barry asked me to go with him to hear a popular singer perform at the Coconut Grove, the famous but long-gone Los Angeles night club,” Henderson wrote in her book Life Is Not a Stage. “I didn’t give it all that much thought, since I would gladly have done the same for any of the older children if asked.”
The Brady Bunch alum wanted to encourage her co-star’s musical aspirations, and saw her role in their relationship as a mentor.
“Admittedly, Barry was making his first steps into adulthood at 15,” Henderson remarked. “But it was innocent enough, and I didn’t want to discourage him.”
Barry Williams and Florence Henderson shared an innocent goodnight kiss
Since Williams was too young for his driver’s license, his brother had to come along for the ride to pick up Henderson at her hotel. Then they “ditched the brother” and headed to the Coconut Grove.
“We went in and were shown to a lousy table,” Henderson recalled. “I whispered sweetly in Barry’s ear that the maître d’ was expecting a tip. Immediately upon payment, like magic, our host recognized the celebrities we were and showed us to an excellent table.”
Henderson maintained that the entire night was purely innocent, including their goodnight kiss when Williams brought her home. She noted how details of the evening gained more steam and details as the years went on.
“After the concert, Barry was very sweet,” Henderson wrote. “We fetched his brother and he gave me a goodnight kiss at my hotel. So from his book, our playful but coy interviews… that followed, an urban legend was born.”
‘The Brady Bunch’ co-stars remained friends
In her memoir, Henderson made it clear that she had set solid boundaries for her night out with Williams.
“What is very true is that Barry did have a serious crush on me, which I understood and helped him get past,” she explained. “Let us just say that if he had entertained a roll in the hay with me, I would never have done that.”
The two Brady Bunch alums enjoyed a solid friendship until Henderson’s death in 2016. She raved about the bond she shared with Williams, even decades after working together.
“Undeniably we had a very special connection – and it goes without saying that I always felt like a surrogate mother to him and the rest of the kids,” Henderson wrote in her 2011 book. “On a deeper level, I represented something to him that he admired. He loved music and knew that I could sing – he also liked my work ethic, and adopted it then as he still does. … He has remained a dear friend.”