Metro Weekly

Barry Williams on the Brady Bunch legacy and gay co-star Robert Reed

“It's always nice to be found attractive,” says Barry Williams of being a teen idol during his Brady Bunch years.

Barry Williams
Barry Williams

“There was a lot of genuineness in our show, a chemistry that was unmistakable and real,” says Barry Williams. “We had these soft messages to share with our audiences. And I think they stuck.”

Williams is talking about his years as Greg, the eldest of the Brady siblings on the classic sitcom, The Brady Bunch, which ran for five seasons on ABC, from 1969 to 1975. “As I look back at the show, we really told stories. It wasn’t a joke every three-point-seven seconds. They weren’t those kinds of gags. They were larger than life and exaggerated situations and real humanity. I think that its core [has been] very relatable for generations.”

The show’s impact has been part of America’s cultural landscape for decades, boasting several spin-off series, satirical movies, and even, in 2019, a home renovation show on HGTV. A Very Brady Renovation found the six grown actors who portrayed the kids overseeing a unique renovation of the original Brady house, reshaping its interior into exact replicas of the sitcom’s groovy period sets.

“It was the best, most positive, interesting, and pleasurable professional experience I’ve ever had,” beams Williams. “It was great being together with everybody. And we were together over the course of almost 14 months. We just loved every minute of it.”

The HGTV series is the primary reason why Williams was tapped to be a special guest this Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Capital Remodel + Garden Show in Chantilly, Va. Williams says A Very Brady Renovation taught him more about remodeling than he thought he already knew.

“I’ve renovated all [my homes] except the one I’m in now,” says the 67-year-old, who currently calls Branson, Missouri home. “And that’s because it came exactly the way that I like it.

“But what I learned about renovating is that, for anyone who’s considering it, it’s a good idea to have your plans, the tools that you’ll need, the people lined up, your inspectors lined up, and all that kind of planning before you start.”

One thing Williams won’t mess with is electrical wiring, a lesson learned the painful way.

“I was too lazy to go turn off a breaker,” he says of the time he tried to install “a light switch or a plug” — he can’t recall which — “and thought, ‘I won’t touch the wires.’ That was, forgive me for the pun, a shock. I’m glad that the wire cutters had rubber on the handle. I might have been a lot worse off.”

Williams also won’t climb up on the roof. “Safety is the one thing to really pay attention to when remodeling. You have the professionals do what you don’t know how to do, and be careful when you’re doing what you are comfortable and familiar with.”

As for gardening? “I like getting out and being in the garden,” he says. “And every time the gardener comes over, usually about once a week, I go out and start asking questions. And then I do the stuff that I can. I’ll trim back. I’ll add water. I’m working on the green thumb part of it. I have a ways to go. But I’ve got all the equipment, let’s say that.”

An established singer, Williams plans to perform a few numbers and host a singalong during his Capitol Remodel appearance, including leading the audience in a bright, bouncy round of the definitive Brady tune, “Sunshine Day.”

“Sunshine Day is only really good if you’re singing along with it,” he says. “And only if you do the choreography, those dance moves. I’ll get everyone [in the audience] who would like to up and teach them to dance, and then we’ll dance and sing it together. What I then do for the participants is make them honorary Bradys for life.”

When The Brady Bunch first aired, Williams became a bona fide “teen idol,” appearing in countless teen mags like 16 and Tiger Beat. A portion of his admirers were most likely closeted teenage boys of the time, a fact that doesn’t phase, or surprise, the adult Williams in the least.

“I’d be on a teen magazine, but it didn’t really translate to my personal life,” he says. “I can’t say that I really gave it much thought. I think it’s always nice to be liked. It’s always nice to be found attractive.”

The Brady patriarch was portrayed by Robert Reed, who, it was posthumously revealed, was a gay man living a deeply closeted existence.

“That was very difficult and unfair,” says Williams of the early seventies. “You’re talking about a time period where there was a different…social consciousness and acceptability. Robert did not talk about it. He just didn’t. He was very private. He wasn’t ‘out out,’ but I can say that when you work together for that many years that closely — and we spent more time together as a Brady family than we spent with our own families — you get to know a lot about everybody. There really aren’t any secrets, even if they’re not being shared.”

Asked what a Brady Bunch series might look like if it were created from scratch nowadays, Williams doesn’t miss a beat.

“If you look at the bare bones of The Brady Bunch, it’s really about two families becoming one, and then working out all those issues,” he says. “So if it were written today, you’d want to see the two families coming together. But inside that family, it probably wouldn’t be all white bread, and it wouldn’t all be straight. You’d have a mix of races, religion, and sexuality. It wouldn’t be The Brady Bunch. It’d be more like Brady Stew.”

The Capital Remodel + Garden Show is Friday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. At the Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center in Chantilly, Va. Williams appears on the mainstage on Saturday at noon. Visit

“Groovy” Greg Brady greetings are available from Barry Williams on Cameo. Visit

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