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In her book, Florence Henderson recalls Robert Reed’s discomfort in their “Brady Bunch” love scenes watched every single episode of The Brady Bunch as a kid and I was always under the impression Mike and Carol Brady had the hots for each other.

After all, they slept in the same bed unlike Ricky and Lucy Ricardo and Rob and Laura Petrie.

As we all know now, Robert Reed, who played Mike Brady in the original sitcom (plus The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, The Brady Brides, A Very Brady Christmas and The Bradys) was gay.

In her new autobiography Life Is Not a Stage, Florence Henderson recalls the actor’s initial discomfort doing love scenes with his TV wife. Here is an excerpt:

We had been doing a love scene that had gone fine in rehearsal but wasn’t working to John’s liking the way was doing it. I felt like I had to step in and do something.

“Excuse me for a moment,” I said to Bob. I had suddenly realized the source of the problem. I left him and walked out of camera range and took [the director] off to the side.

“Just back off,” I told the director. “Don’t say anything or make a big deal out of this, but Bob’s gay. He’s nervous about this scene.”

I told him I knew how to handle it. I went back on the set and we started up again. I don’t remember what I said specifically to Bob, but I took extra care with him to make sure he felt comfortable. In that moment, I tried to love him as hard as I could and make him feel great. I wanted him to feel romantic and sexy as all get out. And perhaps, if he knew I was comfortable about him and his sexuality, he didn’t have to feel bad about playing that role. I don’t think the crew caught on to this in the beginning as I had, but most did as the show went on.

Every time we’d do a romantic scene, the same nervousness would come up. We’d laugh as he came on to the set in his pajamas. I think on those days he would frequently self-medicate by drinking more than usual at lunchtime.

See Florence Henderson interviewed by Greg In Hollywood at Sunday’s West Hollywood Book Fair as part of the TAKE ONE: COLORFUL LIVES OF WONDERFUL WOMEN ON & OFF SCREEN panel that also includes Dyan Cannon, Stefanie Powers and hairdresser to the stars Carrie White.

Time and Place: 11:45 am to 12:45 pm in the That’s Entertainment Pavilion
Signings @ 12:45 pm, Book Soup Booth

For the full schedule, go to the WestHollywoodBookFair site.



(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

3 Remarks

  1. October 3rd, 2011 at 7:26 am
    ND Mitchell says:

    Wow..nice little Brady secrets/tidbits….

  2. Florence Henderson and Robert Reed did a great job, because I never would have suspected that he was gay from watching the show, even to this day. He was definitely “America’s Dad”, and he is surely missed.

  3. Robert Reed thought of his TV kids as his real kids. He told Florence Henderson to bring them to him when he was dying.

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