‘The Brady Bunch’ Star Robert Reed ‘Nearly Got Into a Fistfight’ Over This Idea: ‘He Thought the Show Was Garbage’
The stars of The Brady Bunch have plenty of stories to tell regarding their time on the show. Maureen McCormick shared her experiences as Marcia Brady in her memoir, Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice. And she talks a lot about Robert Reed, the actor who played the father-figure Mike Brady.
Reed reportedly had some issues with those who ran the show. And according to McCormick, he thought one idea was total “garbage.” Here’s what happened.
‘The Brady Bunch’ actor Robert Reed was known for his short temper
The actors who played the Brady kids seemed to adore Reed — and he had quite a close relationship with them as well. Unfortunately, Reed had a much different experience with the showrunners. Sherwood Schwartz, the show creator, and his son, Lloyd Schwartz, one of the directors, struggled with Reed’s temper.
“He always really had a short temper, but that came from the fact that he had very high standards, which is what I think made him successful,” biographer Ted Nichelson explained. “He had many friends who were very talented but did not end up being successful. I think people just need to remember where he was before The Brady Bunch came along.”
Sherwood also wrote about his issues with Reed. “From the very beginning of filming, Bob Reed was reticent about the series,” he wrote in his book, Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of The Brady Bunch. “He objected to just about everything.”
Maureen McCormick said Reed almost ‘got into a fistfight’ over this idea
McCormick noticed Reed’s tumultuous temper as well. While The Brady Bunch aired from 1969 to 1974, a number of spin-offs were attempted after the fact for fans. There were multiple specials including plenty of the original cast members. But Reed wasn’t a fan of The Bradys, a show that lasted a single season in 1990 that centered around the family growing up.
“I heard Bob Reed nearly got in a fistfight with Sherwood during production,” McCormick wrote in her book. “He also made sure all the Paramount and CBS executives knew he thought the show was garbage. Bob even traded words with Florence [Henderson] and Ann B. [David]. That was sacrilegious. They were among the nicest pros in the business.”
McCormick noted Reed’s “outward manifestation” of anger was likely due to his health. “Although he kept it to himself, Bob was HIV positive and battling for his life,” she continued. But, for the record, she also seconded that the script for the new spin-off was “absolutely awful.”
Reed wasn’t in the final episode of ‘The Brady Bunch’
Not only did Reed condemn The Bradys, but he also wasn’t around to film the last episode of The Brady Bunch. He hated the concept of the episode, which centered around Bobby Brady attempting to sell hair tonic to make extra cash. Unfortunately, the tonic turned hair orange.
“Robert’s big complaint this time was that hair tonic can’t do that to hair,” Lloyd explained. Ultimately, Reed expected the script to change — but it didn’t.
“We didn’t know it at the time, but this would be the last episode that The Brady Bunch ever filmed, and Mike Brady wasn’t in it,” Schwartz wrote in his book.
McCormick also commented on the ending of the show in her book. “The Brady Bunch ended without fanfare or celebration,” she continued. “Bob Reed was so infuriated by the script that he didn’t appear in the final show. As I think back, after five years, during which time we literally grew up with one another made out with one another, got drunk with one another, and so on, it was oddly unemotional.”
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