The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

12 Jun
Guest Author

Animal Trainer Lee Sollenberger

written by Guest Author in Blog, The Brady Bunch | 2 comments

Lou Schumacher Animal Rentals was the animal supplier for the show. I worked for Lou in the early seventies as did a few trainers. Tiger belonged to Lou and was trained mainly by Karl Lewis, a renowned animal trainer (“Babe,” “Call of the Wild,” “White Dog” and more too numerous to mention). Myself and another trainer Bill Vergis got the call to do the goat show. We found a goat through contacts, and brought her home to my house and started the training. I do remember they called her Raquel in the episode we did.

Training was easier than we thought as she learned quickly and worked to rewards and a “Buzzer.” We train animals to the sound of the buzzer and when they respond to it, they are rewarded with food. When we got to set we noticed that the goat had a lot of inside work. This did not create a problem. But never seeing the set, she was reluctant to “pay attention” to what she was supposed to do. Robert Reed was the director and gave us plenty of time to rehearse with “Raquel”. Sometimes you will have problems with animals as they have never been in a movie or on TV. We did several rehearsals and everything started to go just fine until we started the closet scenes. She did not want to be in that closet. Barry was very patient and so was the crew. In a scene where Florence Henderson is showing a group the house, Greg has to hide the mascot. Hence this is the closet scene. Raquel also wore a mascot blanket type prop with the other school’s name on it.

Working in close quarters is always a problem with animals. We did the shot several times and she was losing interest. I said, I will get into the closet with her and calm her down. Bill was at the foot of the bed and buzzed her out. I slid the door open and she came out like she was shot out of a cannon. This show was a lot of fun. Everyone loved the goat show and working the TV series also became fun as we never knew what was up next in scripts. Over the years several people have mentioned to me the “Goat” show was a favorite to them. This was over 30 years ago we shot this episode “Getting Greg’s Goat”and Brady fans everywhere remember it like it was on TV last week. I am very proud of of that. I am showing my age as I am now retired from the Motion Picture Industry living on a lake in Northern Canada.

This show won a P.A.T.S.Y. (Performing Animal Top Star of the Year) award and we all where very proud of this. I have done a lot of animal shows but some you are more fond of than others. This was a memorable experience for me and I will always say that I worked on the “Brady Bunch.”

 

2 Comments

    Tami Bahrman
    on Apr. 12th, 2010

    Lee Sollenberger is a true outdoors man and animal lover. It is rare for a man to be able to make a living out such talent and love.

    Jentami Bahrman
    on Jul. 8th, 2010

    Lee Sollenberger has handeled animals all of his life. His success with animals comes from the compassion he shows them and his patience. I am sure Barry with agree that he was lucky to have worked with Lee.

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