‘The Brady Bunch’s ‘Alice’ Actor Ann B. Davis Said ‘I’m Not Good With Kids’

The cast of 'The Brady Bunch'
The cast of ‘The Brady Bunch’ | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

The woman who portrayed Alice the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch not good with kids?

It’s hard to believe but that’s what the classic television comedy’s co-star Ann B. Davis revealed in an interview with the Archive of American Television in 2004.

Here’s why she felt that way.

How Ann B. Davis ended up on ‘The Brady Bunch’

Ann B. Davis
Ann B. Davis | CBS via Getty Images

In her interview, Davis shared how it was that she landed on The Brady Bunch.

“Well, in 1969, I’d been doing nightclub work, which I was very unhappy in. But I was doing it because I had to eat,” she said. “The act consisted, Davis said, of “a few songs, some jokes that a friend of mine wrote. That’s what I was doing at the time.”

Davis said that when casting for The Brady Bunch began, her name “came up. [Show creator Sherwood Schwartz] said he really felt like he was looking for me! He flew me down from Seattle, I met him, spoke to him. The next day, arrangements were made and Sherwood Schwartz bought out my last 2 weeks at the nightclub. So that’s how I got started on The Brady Bunch.”

The child actors were each chosen for a reason

'The Brady Bunch'
‘The Brady Bunch’ | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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The show’s producer and creator Sherwood Schwartz in his 2010 book Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of The Brady Bunch, explained how he went about choosing each child for the now-iconic program.

Part of his strategy was interviewing each child in his office with a desk between them filled with colorful, eye-grabbing toys.

“I wanted to see if they would be distracted from our discussion,” Schwartz wrote in his memoir. “If kids lost interest in our discussion, they might also lose interest in rehearsing. I wanted children who could stay focused. … In addition to being good actors, none of the Brady kids you have been watching for all these years played with anything on the table.”

Davis said she wasn’t good with kids

Davis, who died in 2014, described her lack of rapport with kids in general. It’s difficult to believe that, coming from the actor who for five seasons worked day in and day out with six energetic and bright child actors.

“I’m not good with kids,” she said. “They discovered that pretty soon, if they had any questions, they’d go to Florence [Henderson who played Carol Brady]. Or Lloyd [Schwartz, the show’s producer], actually, they were very close to Lloyd.

'The Brady Bunch' cast
‘The Brady Bunch’ cast | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Asked why she felt her skill with children was so lacking that her younger co-stars knew not to bother asking her for advice or help, Davis surmised that the fact that she had never had children of her own was to blame.

“I have no idea why,” she said. “I was the youngest in the family and I just never ran around with kids much. My twin sister got better at it because she had [kids]. I assume if I’d had some, I would have gotten good with them myself. But I never got to that point.

“But the kids, they liked me, but I had to treat them like adults because I didn’t know how to treat them like kids. Which kids appreciate from time to time.”