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…

Author Archive

15 Mar
Barry Williams

Peter Graves
Saturday morning was a special time around my house when I was very young. On Saturday morning my older brothers and I were allowed to watch what we wanted. I was just three years old but my favorite show was not anything animated. My favorite show was called Fury. Fury starred Peter Graves as a ranch owner, Bobby Diamond as his adopted son and Fury an amazing stallion who loved the young boy. Thus began my passion for horses. Fury was a really strong and smart horse. He knew when people did good deeds and would reward them usually by getting them to where they needed to be. Mostly Fury would only allow the Diamond character, Joey, to ride him. This was pretty amazing stuff for me, a then three year old.

During the time Fury was on the air I was attending kindergarten in my home town (it wasn’t called pre-school then) and I had a girlfriend in my class. I liked to sit next to her when we were doing arts and crafts and I usually made my way near her in the afternoon for nap time. Occasionally we exchanged gum after it had already been chewed by one of us. Our version of french kissing I guess.

Her name is Claudia Graves and I was more than a little impressed when I was having a play date at her house one day, which happened to be just down the street from my own family home, and into the living room walks JIM NEWTON the owner of the Broken Wheel Ranch where Fury lived! It took me a minute to get the concept that Jim Newton was really an actor, Peter Graves and father to my sweetheart Claudia. This just seemed too good to be true and I thought it was so cool that I decided then and there I wanted to be an actor. Several weeks later while visiting at Claudia’s house I had a chance to ask Mr. Graves how he got to be an actor. He said, “I just thought about it.”

Good enough for me. I thought and thought and thought. Finally I thought about doing something about it and asked my parents to let me give it a shot. I started going to classes and acting lessons, got some 8×10 headshots and an agent. I was on my way.

After filming the Brady Bunch Pilot in 1968 and before we actually started filming the regular series in 1969 I had an extraordinary opportunity. I had an audition for a guest starring role in my then favorite TV series, Mission Impossible starring the man who inspired my whole career, Peter Graves. I got that role. Literally a dream come true.

Peter Graves passed away yesterday, March 13th. At the same time I was in Nashville doing what Peter inspired and I still love after all these years; acting onstage in a musical. His passing is a loss millions of people, along with myself feel. I always will be grateful to the wonderful contributions he made as an actor and a person including his remarkable return in the feature film Airplane. He was an inspiration to many and I am grateful for my personal connection with him.

I send out my warmest wishes and condolences to his wife Joan and daughters Kelly Jean, Amanda Lee, and first love Claudia.

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08 Jul
Barry Williams

In my business you have the opportunity to meet some incredible people. While I’ve been lucky enough to work on a lot of different television and theater projects, I owe a lot of those meetings to The Brady Bunch. Some, like Don Drysdale and Joe Namath, were captured on the show for everyone to see. There were others though, that took place after the cameras stopped rolling. Two that come to mind are the day Henry Kissinger stopped by the Brady set, and now more than ever, the day The Brady 6 met The Jackson 5.

As someone who’s done some singing and dancing with his own “brothers and sisters,” I can appreciate just how talented Michael Jackson was and am glad we got the chance to cross paths.

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09 Apr
Barry Williams

Let’s Strip

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 8 comments

See you in Vegas?

I love Las Vegas.  For me, the only thing better than going there for a vacation, is working there.  Especially when I’m working  on the Strip and not only is my name up in lights but a giant 45 foot headshot as well.  The best lighting, best sound, best musicians, it’s all there.  Such is the wonderful situation I find myself in again this week at Planet Hollywood.  As some of you may know, I was invited to be a guest for a couple of weeks last month in the new open ended production of Tony & Tina’s Wedding in the Planet Hollywood Hotel.  What a blast.  This is hardly what I call working.

First of all I play… “myself.”  Actually my “role” is playing a friend of Tina’s father who for the purposes of this wedding night is deceased.  He was one of the truck driver’s on my 2001 Broadway National Tour of The Sound of Music.  We became good close friends and I visited the family frequently in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  Vito, as his wife Josephina refers to him, asked me if anything were to happen to him that I give Tina away on her wedding day and…. that is how I happen to show up on Tony and Tina’s wedding night.  

For the uninitiated, the audience members are the guests, the two families, Nunzio’s and Vitale’s, are the wedding party and I spend the evening primarily as a mixer.  Now in my case this means I have an opportunity to meet virtually every guest in the house and usually there are about 400 of them.  I sit at the tables and eat with the guests, take pictures, talk about the BB and their experiences of growing up with it, I dance with everyone to the rockin group Fusion, dedicate and sing a song to Tina and generally have a great time.  Party on.  In all my years I have never seen audiences enjoy themselves more.  The Wedding is so realistic that on more than one occasion Brides and Grooms come straight from their own nuptials wearing wedding gowns and tuxes and celebrate their reception with us!

Usually I can tell if things are going well when I am invited for a return engagement.  So, beginning Friday night the 10th through Thursday night the 16th (with the exception of Sunday) at 6:30 pm I will be giving the lovely Tina Vitale away and mixing it up.  If you are looking for a little RnR this upcoming week, I’d love to see you there.  You can also catch me at the pool during the day. Viva Las Vegas!

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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18 Mar
Barry Williams

Let’s Meet In Vegas

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 4 comments

‘Only valid for my blog and facebook friends’

Vegas is one of my favorite places. I love the energy and the mix of fun, interesting people. I’m here for the next few weeks performing in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. It’s a great show if I say so myself. We’re having a great time. I worked with the management here to offer a special rate for my friends online. If you can make it simply print this page and head to Vegas.

Hope to see you here!


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03 Mar
Barry Williams

Solo And Climbing

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 10 comments

‘Look closely, that’s me making my first landing!’

Along the way to reaching a goal there are milestones that must be achieved. I recently took on the goal of becoming a private pilot and I am happy to say I just hit one of those milestones. At some point if you want to swim you have to jump in the water, or if you want to snow ski at some point you must head down the mountain.  If you want to fly there comes a time when you need to do it unassisted, without a flight instructor to tell you what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what not to do. That point happened for me this past month.

The first thing I told Joe Justice, my instructor, when we started this process was that I was not in a hurry to hot-rod around the skies.  I wanted to take whatever time necessary to reach a level of proficiency that made my first foray above the earth a safe one.  That day happened on February 18th. Keeping in mind the aviator’s motto that flying is the second most satisfying experience in the world and LANDING is first. The only inkling I had that the day’s lesson might be different is that Joe made sure I had my log book and picture ID onboard the plane.

Off we went for a couple of loops around the airport, landing and taking off again without stopping.  After our second landing he asked me to come to a complete stop because… he wanted to get out of the plane.  The moment was here.  The moment I had long anticipated. After 42.9 hours of supervised flight time he at least felt I was prepared to fly alone.  It was time to solo.  Even with butterflies, I felt ready as well.

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23 Feb
Barry Williams

Slam Dunk

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 7 comments

‘Dad, Brandon and a Trotter – Al’s right behind us’

One of the enjoyable yet surprising parts of being Dad to a six year old son is reliving my own childhood.  It is completely enjoyable to watch his face delight in the discovery of new activities, skills, sports, food, plays and movies.  Brandon was first introduced to The Harlem Globetrotters via a Scooby Doo DVD called appropriately enough, “Scooby Doo Meets The Harlem Globetrotters”.  He was aware they  is also a group of very talented real life players who play professional basketball games but he had not seen them live.  I hadn’t seen them live since, well, I was about Brandon’s age.

Last week The Harlem Globetrotters came to town and played the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Brandon and I and some friends went to see the game and what a treat we were in for.  We got there in plenty of time to get pizza and drinks and snacks.  Armed with programs and mini Globetrotter basketballs we settled in to watch the first half.  I remember really having a good time in my youth watching the game but this current team of Globetrotters and the show they present is pretty amazing.  Brandon was set from the beginning to keep track of the score and began cheering with all his might whenever the “good guys” scored, loudly pronouncing for the arena to hear with arms up over his head…..SCORE!!!

At half time we were privileged to go behind the scenes and meet the team, get autographs and take pictures.  As we started down the meet and greet line it was clear that I was not the only one recapturing a bit of my early youth.  We rubbed elbows with Billy Crystal, Adam Carolla, and Al Pacino among others who had their young kids in tow and there was a distinct air of excitement.  The players could not have been more friendly or more accommodating as we asked questions, learned to spin basketballs on one finger and in our case got our Scooby Doo DVD autographed.

Fortunately, even though the opposing Washington Generals cheated on the score a couple of times during the second half, the Globetrotters ultimately won the game much to the relief of Brandon.  That made Dad pretty happy too.

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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16 Feb
Barry Williams

Ribbit Ribbit

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 13 comments

‘Pepperoni Frog Pizza!’

I went to check out my girlfriend’s show this past Friday night. Well, actually not my current girlfriend, but Greg’s reoccurring girlfriend Rachel on The Brady Bunch, played by Hope Schwartz Juber. Hope is the daughter of our creator Sherwood Schwartz and married to world renowned guitarist and former band member of Wings, Laurence Juber. In the eighties Hope performed in a quasi rock, all female band called The Housewives, which coincidentally also featured Barbara Chase who is Florence Henderson’s daughter.

It was one of Hope’s dreams to turn the experiences she had with the band into a musical. So she collaborated with Laurence to write the music and she partnered with a writing friend to write the book and the result was a really fun, enjoyable Friday night at the theatre for a performance of Housewives 2 in the San Fernando Valley. The fictional story follows the lives of the three girls who make up the Housewives. Their ups and downs their egos, the mess ups and the comebacks and it is done in a very clever way. So clever that sometimes I found myself laughing right through the next joke which may warrant going back to see the show for a second time. In an odd way, because I didn’t have anything to do with creating the show, yet somehow I am proud of Hope. I hope Hope will forgive me (Greg) for taking her out on a date to the drive in all those years ago when that ginormous frog landed on her head and in the middle of our pizza.

Now Search & Win for Great Brady Prizes!

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08 Feb
Barry Williams

Up, Up and Away

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 5 comments

She’s a beauty’

Many of you know I have taken up a long time desire to learn to fly.  It seems I have always had a reason or an excuse to keep myself on the ground and I finally have pushed them all out of the way and have been diligently studying and flying with Joe Justice out of Santa Monica Airport here in CA since October ’08.  Joe is the perfect choice for a flight instructor for me.  He is extremely experienced, safe, patient, plus he owns Justice Aviation

It is an interesting process taking up a new skill at this point in life.  I am used to doing what I know how to do well and, well…. flying is a brand new skill set and  a new way of thinking.  I am learning in a Cessna 172 and during my first few lessons I thought this would be a piece of cake.  I mean push the pedals turn the wheel and push or pull the yolk forward and back… what’s the big deal?  Around the third or fourth lesson however Joe stopped “assisting ” me quite so much and I quickly learned that there was a great deal more to successfully flying (and more importantly landing) an airplane than I had originally thought.  But here’s the deal, it’s FUN.  It’s challenging and rewarding and fun and I am hooked.

I am flying two to three times a week when in LA and I look forward to every flight.  It is an entirely new dimension to explore.  I am learning the local landmarks, the air spaces, aerodynamics, rules of the skyways and of course the all important controls and instruments.  Learning how to talk with ATC is also a challenge.  Everything in aviation is an acronym and for the uninitiated ATC is Air Traffic Control.  These men and women who work in the Control Towers are the pilot’s best friend while in flight, helping to keep all of the aircraft separated from one another.

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22 Dec
Barry Williams

Happy Holidays

written by Barry Williams in barry | 4 comments

And Tiger was my gift…

It seems like the holidays came out of nowhere this year – almost without warning. Now I’m scrambling to get everything on my Christmas list. Know the feeling? Two things to share before I get back to that. Feel free to also connect with me here on facebook which has been great for putting me back in touch with old friends. And best wishes to you and yours this season.

Now Search & Win  for Great Brady Prizes!

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17 Oct
Barry Williams

Here’s The Story…

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 59 comments

‘Mo & I in our hormonally charged days…’
‘Mo & I in our hormonally charged days…’

Just in case you haven’t been watching the news, talk shows, reading the papers or magazines, listening to the radio or had a chance to go online, Maureen McCormick just released a no holds barred tell all book called Here’s the Story – Surviving Marcia Brady.  I have been asked by CBS’ Early Show, Inside Edition, AP, Entertainment Tonight, The Enquirer, Star Magazine, and a variety of radio programs what my thoughts are about her book dealing with her inner sanctum.

First, I must confess that I have not yet read it in its entirety.  I have read plenty about it and even had parts of it read to me in addition to having an enduring friendship throughout the stages she writes about.  This is not a Brady book per se but I did manage to get a fair amount of ink in it.  This is really a book about Maureen and her struggle to balance a wholly unrealistic image as America’s perfect teenager with the rather troubled person she was.  She speaks very highly of me and our hormonally charged relationship as teenagers.  She accurately describes the condition our condition was in and just how far it went (which wasn’t quite far enough for my young passion).  Still, thanks to the way it was written I come off as romantic and a gentleman (instead of a cad) and we did share genuine affection.

That said it is clear to me no matter how well you think you know someone, you can’t well you know… you can’t judge a book by its cover.  I mean there are some shockers in there.

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