Ann B. Davis enjoyed teaching students how to succeed in Hollywood
Ann B. Davis was well-known for her role as Alice Nelson in The Brady Bunch. Her character was the glue that kept the family together. The housekeeper became everyone's favorite in the bunch over the series' five seasons.
If you loved her character in The Brady Bunch, then you definitely would have loved Ann B. Davis in real life. Davis and her character were similar in more ways than one.
In a 1972 interview with The Austin American, Davis said playing the part of an underdog on The Brady Bunch became a very large part of her career. Davis considered herself an underdog in real life, too.
Davis was plain and simple compared to other Hollywood actors, including a few from The Brady Bunch. She also came from a background with very little professional training, and Davis said she fit the mold perfectly for the role of Nelson.
For Davis, it took a lot of determination to succeed in acting, especially in the role of a housekeeper.
"Drama students think talent is all of it," Davis said in the interview with The Austin American. "You have to beat on the doors until they get rid of you. And later, they say you were pretty good and call you back."
According to the interview, Davis liked working in college theaters. This allowed her to interact and meet with students, who all had one goal: To become the next big Hollywood star.
"It's important that students get working contact with pros," Davis said. "Department is something they don't teach in school, how a pro should behave."
Davis said she found the youth stimulating and felt compelled to share the pitfalls of the profession rather than the glamour.
"I was talking to one class and said that of every member in the room, 30 or 40 there may have been, that no one will become a star," Davis said. "It frightened them, those odds."
"It impresses them, somebody like me," Davis said. "I'm not a biggie; I'm a working actress.
Davis would perform at colleges often while on hiatus from The Brady Bunch. She said she was a "plain Jane" with a lot of fan mail. Because of her work with students, Davis tends to get a lot of fan mail from young adults and students. She said a lot of young girls ask for her advice because she said they were underdogs, just like Alice Nelson.
According to the interview, Davis doesn't like to play mean or angry roles. She said her character on The Brady Bunch was really just an extension of who she was in real life.
"Basically, I'm loveable," Davis said. "I need approval. If they want to see me as a secretary, or maid, bless their hearts, I'll play it."
Davis wanted all young actors to succeed, even if they were the underdog. She even learned typecasting on her own in Hollywood. Davis said being a "type" in demand in Hollywood was gratifying for her.
We couldn't imagine getting a lesson in acting from the fan-favorite Brady Bunch character.
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