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

04 Aug
Barry Williams

A Very Brady Birthday

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 7 comments

‘Birthday Wishes For You Mo’
‘Birthday Wishes For You Mo’

In October of 1968 I met an attractive, enchanting and charming, much younger girl than I.  She was hired to play my TV stepsister, Marcia, in a pilot we were making for a potential new series called The Brady Bunch.  The show was about three girls and three boys…  okay I don’t need to go into it.  What I do want to say is that it marks a near forty year relationship with her and our cast that has become among the most significant relationships of our lives.  In my business, that is rare and very special.

Today, August 5th, is Maureen McCormick’s birthday.  She is turning 26 again, can you believe it?  So there is something I would like to sing:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday DEAR Maureen,
Happy birthday to you.

Hey, you have to admit that’s better than:

When it’s time to change then it’s time to change,
Don’t fight the tide go along for the ride
Don’t ya see?….

Happy birthday Mo.

Love,  Big Bro B

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31 Jul
Barry Williams

May the Schwartz Be With You

written by Barry Williams in barry | 2 comments

‘Sherwood, Dawn Wells and I in 2003′
‘Sherwood, Dawn Wells and I in 2003′

As of last week I have been working with three generations of Schwartz’s. I have had a lifelong working relationship and friendship with Sherwood Schwartz, our producer and creator of The Brady Bunch. We filmed our pilot episode in 1968, I had just turned 14. I have come to understand that what you do in life is as important as who you do it with. I am fortunate that I had such a great job growing up, if you can call working on a hit prime time television series a job, and having a model leader at the head of the Bunch. Sherwood has always been gracious with me and the rest of our cast, although Robert Reed did drive him to distraction. Already an experienced successful writer/producer by the time we started The Brady Bunch, he would nonetheless listen to ideas I had about my character as well as the story. Sometimes my suggestions made it into the script, sometimes not, but I always felt heard. That was very important to me and encouraging. And let’s face it… you don’t want to be using an ‘outta sight’ when a simple ‘groovy’ will do.

Sherwood’s son, Lloyd, eventually took up the mantle, and I have worked with him on Brady and non-Brady related projects with Lloyd functioning as producer, director or writer. Last year I was in Florida playing the role of Thurston Howell, III with Gilligan’s original Mary Ann, Dawn Wells, portraying his loving wife Lovey, in GILLIGAN’S ISLAND THE MUSICAL.

Last week I had an offer to do a TV cameo on Scrubs. I love the show and was to thrilled to have been invited to join the cast for the day. In the two part episode the cast finds themselves in the Bahamas and there is some talk about the purchase on Ebay of a familiar Tiki, “just like the one in that Brady Bunch Hawaiian episode.” Flash to a fantasy sequence of a disheveled Barry Williams, in his dilapidated apartment, maniacally excited to be finally ridding himself of “the plague that Tiki wrought upon my life for too long!”

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07 May
Barry Williams

What I Learned From Robert Reed

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 10 comments


‘Family #2′

Often times I am asked what it was like to basically have two families, my natural family with Mom and Dad and my two older brothers and my Brady family. First, please understand there was never any confusion about which was real. I didn’t go to Maureen McCormick for sisterly advice for goodness sake, I had the hots for her. Nor for instance did I ever confuse Robert Reed as being my father, I already had a Dad.

As an actor, one of the really nice things about being on a successful TV series is that you don’t have to spend all of your time looking for a new job. You have your call times, your studio, a schedule, the crew and cast that becomes familial. In our case the cast was also playing a family and to some extent we all assumed those roles in life. When the Brady kids were on tour or making appearances, I was protective and fended for my Brady brothers and sisters just like the reliable big brother I played. Florence Henderson could see the road ahead and gently pointed out to me the smooth and the rough spots that were to come. Robert Reed did not assume the role of my father but I do consider him a mentor.

This is really cool. I had a man who was in our show acting as my father who took on some of those qualities and was interested in the same thing I was — ACTING. My own father didn’t know or really care very much about the craft, he was more interested in raising his three boys.

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11 Apr
Barry Williams

Royal Treatment in Kansas City

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 1 comment

My run at the New Theatre in Kansas City, KS doing the musical comedy revue MARRIED ALIVE is coming to an end this Sunday, April 13th. I arrived on January 28th and opened our eight week run on February 13th. I have mixed feelings about it closing. Naturally I am anxious to get home. I have been away for a long time. But I have enjoyed this musical as much as any show I have ever done and I have appeared in more than 75 different productions.

The primary reasons I have enjoyed it so much is because I have never hung with more passionate fans and the wonderful people I have been working with. The New Theatre Restaurant is one of the most successful theaters in the country. The two producers, Richard Carrothers and Dennis Hennessy, run a tight ship and the sailing is smooth. The people they employ are loyal, thoughtful and helpful. Our show was totally sold out of its 637 seats nearly every performance, and I am not trying to take the credit. They have an enormous subscription. All I was responsible for were the few seats that remained available.

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24 Mar
Barry Williams

Of Fans and Dating

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 3 comments

‘My kind of date’
‘My kind of date’

From time to time I am asked if I have dated fans. Well, once. While I was filming the Brady Bunch I didn’t get out very much. The schedule was just too demanding. We Brady kids had plenty of fans but didn’t know very many people. I went to High School with one other person; Maureen McCormick. I got a fan letter with a photo of a very attractive girl about my age, 16. She lived not too far away so I called her. I arranged for us t meet to meet at an ice skating rink in Santa Monica. I don’t know why I chose an ice skating rink because I can barely get around on skates, but I thought it would be fun and a good place to get acquainted.

We set the date for the next Friday night at 7:30. She showed up looking good and seemed to be very nice. We got a couple of soft drinks and sat down to talk. She giggled a lot, as teenage girls often do and I never liked. It was a little loud at the rink but I was really getting irritated with one table about 30 feet away that had three teenage girls who kept laughing and “trying” not to look in our direction.

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12 Mar
Barry Williams

Throwing in the Towel

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 7 comments


‘My Inner-Boxer’

People still ask me if my Celebrity Boxing match was rigged.

In the late fall of 2002 I was approached by Fox Television to participate in a new reality TV show called Celebrity Boxing. Sounded like a good idea at the time. You know, put on the shorts, pull on the gloves, get a trainer, jump into the ring and have my ROCKY moment in the lights. I was to fight Danny Bonaduce, the chubby little guy from The Partridge Family. Three rounds, two minutes in length. We were to use thick boxing gloves and protective head gear. I had all of four weeks to get ready.

Now I have never boxed in my life, but I have seen fights on TV. In fact I might never have fought if Chris Knight’s shoulder wasn’t bothering him at the time. You see, he was originally invited by FOX to fight Danny but he passed it off. Or maybe he had seen Bonaduce more recently than I had back in the 70′s. Anyway, Chris bailed and that’s when I got the call.

I started my month long training. I ran 1 1/2 miles a day. I showed up at the gym 5 days a week and worked out for an hour and a half with the trainer I was provided. The trainer was great. He would start me off with some stretching, jump rope, just like in the movies. I practiced on the punching bag and the speed bag. They are terrific, mostly because they don’t hit back. In fact, just about everything about boxing is great except getting hit.

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28 Feb
Barry Williams

In Great Company

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 5 comments

‘In Great Company’
‘Three’s Company’

I like to think of John Ritter as my friend but he was really more of an acquaintance. John passed away in September of 2003. He died from a torn aorta but was treated at the hospital for a heart attack. His widow is suing the doctors in a wrongful death suit. This has to be tremendously difficult for everyone. It also puts a different type of focus on a terrific comedic actor and generous man.

After the Brady Bunch ended I felt like I was kind of tossed out into the cold cruel world of reality. Often times actors on successful series are put out to the television pasture for a while until they can reinvent themselves. I busied myself in musical theater, concerts, personal appearances and the occasional guest role on TV.

In 1982 I had a chance to audition for the role of a very wealthy business tycoon, named David Winthrop for an episode of Three’s Company entitled, Up In the Air. I was particularly interested in this role because it wasn’t anything like all around good guy, Greg Brady. I would be the love interest of Janet, played by Joyce DeWitt. After a meeting and a call-back with the producers, I got the job.

In the show I invite Janet and a date to fly to my private island for a party. She brings along Jack, John Ritter, who has never flown anywhere before. To brace himself for the flight he takes some tranquilizers, which affect his sensibilities in a BIG way. At the party he dances with all the guests, on the sofa, with a light stand and ends up wearing the shade on his head. Basically he ruins my upscale and snooty party.

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19 Feb
Barry Williams

On the Highway to Heaven

written by Barry Williams in barry | 5 comments

A couple of days ago I received a residual check for a two part episode of Highway to Heaven I appeared in. The shows were filmed in 1985, the second season of the series.

This got me thinking about how much fun I had playing in Michael Landon’s celebrity tennis tournaments held annually in Phoenix, AZ. I competed in four of them and took home the top prize in two. Although we were practically neighbors in Malibu, it was at these tournaments I first met and got to know Michael Landon. Part of the weekend events included a Charity dinner/auction/show in which I was an invited performer. I brought my charts for Hooked On A Feeling, Treat Her Like A Lady and She Believes In Me and along with 4 or 5 others we “put on a show.”

On one of these Saturday night events, Michael was watching from the audience and doing some casting for his series. He had a two part episode of Highway to Heaven coming up that he was directing and which had a character of an arrogant, selfish, pop star who was a dad to a boy with cancer. After watching me perform at his tournament show, Michael decided I was perfect for the part.

Working with Michael on his show is one of the most profound experiences of my career.

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04 Feb
Barry Williams

A ‘Super’ Super Bowl Sunday

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 6 comments

‘We haven’t seen the last of Tom’
‘We haven’t seen the last of Tom’

I love the Super Bowl.  The tradition, the pageantry, the competition.  Last night’s game between the Patriots and Giants is one for the memory banks.  For the first time in recent history the game was actually more competitive than the commercials.  And the commercials were laugh out loud good.  I will watch the game just for the commercials, but in my opinion last night’s contest was truly what watching professional sports is all about.  I am on record as being partial to the Patriots, after all their quarter back is a Brady, but the game last night was electric.  The score was close throughout, and at all times left both teams within one play of changing leaders.  The commitment and drive of the players is inspiring.  I chose not to attend a big Super Bowl bash this year and instead watched it with a new friend here in Kansas City where I am getting ready to open a new musical review.

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02 Feb
Barry Williams

Attention! Mr. President

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 4 comments


‘Just like this one’

With all of the primaries going on it’s hard not to think about politics. The race is fascinating and the election is still more than nine months away. It is hard for me to imagine how anyone can handle the job of President with all of the scrutiny, the ultimate invasion of privacy 24/7, and of course the challenge of learning how to speak out of both sides of your mouth — at the same time. I am intrigued with how the political machinery works and just so happen to have a Presidential story to share with you.

A few years ago, I was invited to join the Broadway cast of Victor/Victoria for a production in Houston, Texas. I was to play the role of Toddy, originally created onstage by Tony Roberts and played in the movie by Robert Preston. At the end of the show Toddy discovers his “inner self” puts on a dress, full make up, a head dress and high heels and performs.

I may as well tell you right now, I do not make a pretty girl. I can however manage high heels, in my case a size 131/2 . This transformation takes place as during the show as a quick change, so I had two wardrobe assistants help me get into the garb. In the song I parade around the stage in all my glory.

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