‘The Brady Bunch’s Florence Henderson Said the Hawaii Episode ‘Was So Dangerous, It Could’ve Been Disastrous’

'The Brady Bunch' cast
‘The Brady Bunch’ cast | CBS via Getty Images

The Brady Bunch‘s iconic episode that took place in Hawaii was an exciting one for fans.

Not only did it have cliffhangers as it was broken up into three episodes, but it also had gorgeous scenery, famous Hawaiian-born singer Don Ho and, according to show star Florence Henderson, it was a thoroughly dangerous episode to film.

Here’s what she had to say.

Romance blossomed in Hawaii

Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams in 2007
Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams in 2007 | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Two of the show’s child stars began a romance while in the 50th state.

Barry Williams who played Greg and Maureen McCormick who was in the role of eldest Brady sister Marcia began expressing feelings for one another during the Hawaii episode.

“We couldn’t hold back any longer,” McCormick wrote in her 2008 book Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice. “It was our first kiss, and it was long, passionate and deep. It was wonderful, too.”

Despite its intensity, their relationship was simply a teenage fling.

Henderson, perhaps oblivious to the shenanigans going on between Williams and McCormick told the Archive of American Television, “Hawaii was wonderful. It was a great experience. I took my son Joseph with me on that trip. Hawaii was a great deal of fun.”

Filming in Hawaii was ‘a little hairy’ according to Henderson

While visiting the Hawaiian islands was a breathtaking experience, Henderson stated there were moments of danger while they were filming. A scene on a boat nearly injured some of the cast.

“It was a little hairy because we had to go out on an outrigger,” she said. “There were nine of us in it; we would always laugh, you know, ‘It’s a tight nine!,’ with the six kids, Ann B. Davis, Bob and myself, there were always nine of us.

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“So they found this big outrigger,” she continued. “And then there’s a rudder guy that controls the boat. Then they had a boat with the crew in it and we were gonna get on this huge wave and they were gonna photograph us riding this wave in.”

Henderson recalled the fun ended as soon as they saw the size of the waves they were dealing with in the ocean that day.

“And here comes this huge wave, I mean, really really big,” she said. “And we get on it and we’re riding this wave in, and I see the camera boat out of the corner of my eye. I see it lose control, and it’s coming right toward us.”

Henderson grabbed tight hold of Susan Olsen

As the wave and the crew boat were about to crash on the cast’s boat, Henderson braced herself for impact, making sure not to let go of Cindy Brady actor Olsen, who she said could not swim.

“I was kind of right in the center and had Susan Olsen to my left and I knew she couldn’t swim,” she recalled. “I held onto her and the next thing I knew we were upside down in the water, hanging on for dear life.”

Henderson said she herself is “not a strong swimmer, but I didn’t let go of Susan Olsen. We had to get back in the outrigger. Little Susan was shivering she was so scared. I was scared. I had on false eyelashes and they were hanging down here. We were a mess!”

Looking back on it, the actor said she was disappointed at the lack of preparation by the crew for such a perilous location.

“In retrospect, that was so dangerous,” she said. “It could’ve been totally disastrous. We had no life jackets. They never even checked to see if we were all strong swimmers. There were things like that that were pretty dangerous.”