‘The Brady Bunch’: Maureen McCormick Reveals Why She and Barry Williams Never Committed To A Romantic Relationship
The Brady Bunch continues to live on in television history despite airing the series finale in 1974. Portraying the six Brady Kids in one of America’s most famous blended families, Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Mike Lookinland (Bobby), and Susan Olsen (Cindy) were unknown at the time of their casting.
As the two oldest siblings, Williams and McCormick had a strong mutual attraction yet could never maintain a committed relationship.
‘The Brady Bunch’ producers saw growing attraction between the onscreen siblings
When The Brady Bunch launched in 1969, producers wanted to keep an eye on the potential romantic interactions between the young boy-girl cast members.
“An unspoken responsibility that became part of my job was hormone patrol,” producer Lloyd Schwartz wrote in his 2010 book Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of the Brady Bunch. “The Brady kids were attractive to America – and attractive to each other. Each of them had an opposite-sex counterpart with whom they were spending an inordinate amount of time. It is only natural that relationships would begin to develop.”
Schwartz noticed sexual tension specifically between Williams and McCormick, and was concerned about how that could affect the show.
“The real issues that were developing were the crushes that Barry had on Maureen and Maureen had on Barry,” Schwartz revealed. “Fortunately, much of the time they alternated on who liked who. They never seemed to be of a similar mind at the same time. … All I knew was that passion was imminent, and that it would be destructive.”
Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams kept getting interruptions
After sharing their first kiss on the beach when The Brady Bunch went on location in Hawaii for season 4, McCormick and Williams began an on-again, off-again romance. At the start of season 5, Williams negotiated for his own dressing room which gave the couple a place to be alone.
“Of course, Barry turned it into a bachelor’s pad,” McCormick wrote in her memoir Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice. “We rolled around on the sofa and the floor, fumbling with each other’s clothes, but every time we got to a crucial point, we seemed to be interrupted by a knock on the door.”
McCormick went on to describe other hindrances when the two would get romantically entwined. Adding further complication was their fickle feelings that often accompany the teenage years. McCormick recalled experiencing a change of heart during a cast trip on a European cruise.
“It was also an incredible opportunity to finally go all the way with Barry,” The Brady Bunch alum revealed. “Except that I wasn’t into him on that trip. As always with us, our timing was off. If it wasn’t a parent or adult walking in on us, it was usually that he was dating another girl. Though in this case I was dating other guys – and I didn’t two-time.”
Marcia and Greg just weren’t meant to be as an offscreen couple
While McCormick genuinely wanted more than friendship with Williams, she knew there were several reasons why they couldn’t sustain a romantic relationship.
“We had real feelings for each other,” McCormick explained. “But at our ages … and given our unique situation, our relationship turned out to be more of an on-again-off-again game.”
With Williams’ popularity with females and McCormick still keeping her options open, the two were unable to commit to one person at that time of their lives.
“That was trying whenever I saw Barry’s new girlfriend of the month,” The Brady Bunch star remarked. “They were always beautiful. But I wasn’t ready to be tied down to a single guy, not even one I liked as much as Barry. At that point, I was dreaming of my own adventures.”
Though the pair didn’t last as significant others, McCormick and Williams continue to enjoy a lifelong friendship.