‘The Brady Bunch’s Florence Henderson on Her Unofficial Role in the Cast as ‘Peacemaker’: ‘Anger Frightens Me’
It was an awkward and difficult situation to be put in, she admitted to the Archive of American Television in 1999.
Robert Reed was a ‘sad man’ according to this cast member
Ann B. Davis who played housekeeper Alice on the series said in 2004 that there was a sadness she noticed in Reed when she worked with him on the now-classic show about a blended family.
“Robert was a very sad man,” she said. “I knew that he was a good actor. He’d been classically trained. He’d done classical things. And he was not happy. Of the shows that Paramount was making, the pilots that they were making, The Brady Bunch was the last one he wanted to do.
“He was a very good actor and he did it very well,” she continued. “But he was never really happy with it and that rubbed off on the set.
Henderson on the biggest downside of working on the show
According to Reed’s show co-star Florence Henderson, the Mike Brady actor saved his resentment for the show’s producers Sherwood Schwartz and his son Lloyd.
“It’s widely recorded how much [Sherwood] and Robert Reed fought,” she said. “Really, that was the only negative thing about the show was the fact that Bob and especially Sherwood and John Rich did not get along.
“Bob was very condescending about writers and directors and especially Sherwood and Lloyd,” she added.
Henderson touched on her regular need to remind Reed that the show was a lighthearted situation comedy.
“I’d have to go, every so often, ‘Bob, this is comedy. This is not Shakespeare.’ It was a situation comedy for television. And for what it was, I think it was good.”
She played the role of peacemaker on the show’s set
Unfortunately, according to Henderson, it fell often to her to smooth over frayed nerves and hurt feelings.
Asked if it was accurate that she served as peacemaker between Reed, Schwartz, and director John Rich, Henderson replied, “I would say that’s accurate. I don’t like negativity. I don’t like to be around it when I work. Anger frightens me. I think it has a very negative effect on the people that are around it. Especially when it’s done in front of them.
The Carol Brady actor added that, “with children on a set, I didn’t want that to become what the show was about. And because Bob felt so strongly about certain things, and Sherwood felt so strongly about certain things, it became very difficult at times. I would either talk Bob down or Sherwood.”
For Henderson, it was important to try to get everyone on the same page in order to keep the show going.
“Try to find to make it work so that everybody could keep their jobs, and keep the show on the air,” Henderson admitted.