The Everett Collection

Robert Reed struggled to make his character ''believable'' on The Brady Bunch

Robert Reed was an actor who loved his on-screen Brady family, but had a few problems when it came to The Brady Bunch series itself.

Reed usually held back his predictions and promises for the series because he worried they would get broken. While he never promised anything of The Brady Bunch, he did promise to give fans an honest look at the series, even if it meant sharing a few criticisms. 

He played the role of Mike Brady for a total of five seasons. As Mike Brady he was a loving, caring and wise father-figure who not only supported his fictional family, but became a father for many viewers at home too.

He was the dad many viewers wanted and had the family many of us called friends. 

According to a 1970 interview with The Boston Globe, Reed said The Brady Bunch pilot episode was "perfectly horrible." He wanted the writers to patch it up and keep striving for better quality, however, he wasn't always met with what he wanted.

For as much as he liked spending time with his Brady kids, Reed said there wasn't enough time to get adequate scripts or the production they required. 

"For me, the biggest fight was to make the character seem real," Reed said. "I tried to react the way I would normally when situations arose in the storyline, but that wouldn't always work out. Naturalness doesn't pay in situation comedy."

The Brady Bunch was a chronicle of adventures following a widower, a widow and their combined total of six children. Reed wanted to show the Brady family in a realistic way, but something about a broken family didn't scream comedy or a family sitcom at the time.

"To be completely realistic, I suppose they should have taken a couple of divorcees and pictured the difficulties brought about by offspring of broken homes," Reed said. "But I suppose television isn't quite ready to tackle the problem yet, at least not in the realm of domestic comedy."

Reed said his biggest surprise was that the Brady kids were really good actors for their ages. Initially, Reed had some second thoughts about taking the role on the sitcom. After a few long talks with the studio about his hesitation, he joined the family.

"I must admit I accepted this series with some reluctance," Reed said. "I had really signed with Paramount to do the pilot of Barefoot in the Park, which I played onstage. But when they decided to shelve the project for a year... I had no choice but Brady."

Even if the choice to be Mike Brady was out of his control, it was a good choice nonetheless.

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