Robert Reed was gay, however, he didn’t disclose his sexuality in fear of it ruining his career. Although it wasn’t discussed between him and fellow cast members, most of the cast and crew of The Brady Bunch knew. Florence Henderson commented on Reed’s hidden secret: “Here he was, the perfect father of this wonderful little family, a perfect husband. Off-camera, he was an unhappy person – I think had Bob not been forced to live this double life, I think it would have dissipated a lot of that anger and frustration. I never asked him. I never challenged him. I had a lot of compassion for him because I knew how he was suffering with keeping this secret.”
Reed was unwilling to come to terms with his sexuality and this resentment often led him to self-deprecate and have mental breakdowns. After having unprotected sex with men, Reed contracted HIV. He died in 1992 from complications of AIDS. Although initially, it was believed that Reeds died from colon cancer, his death certificate revealed that he was HIV positive.
A Royal Actor
There’s a good reason for Reed’s insolent persona (actually, does anything ever truly give validation for arrogance?). Robert Reed wanted the show to go his way. He was a very trained actor who had studied for one term at the reputable Royal Academy of Dramatic Art London.
Before appearing on television, he acted in Shakespeare plays. He then moved to L.A. to pursue his acting career and got started with a guest appearance on 'Father Knows Best'. His first television role was in 'The Defenders'.
Against the Odds
Despite Florence Henderson’s performance as Carol, a multi-faceted and uber-talented woman who seems to keep the family functioning smoothly while keeping up with her own hobbies and work, her background is, you could say, rather different. Henderson comes from a very poor family and was the youngest of 10 children.
Fortunately for her, she had a headstrong mother who despite all odds and the battle with an alcoholic husband, managed to give her children as good a life as possible and encourage them to be successful. Florence often credited her professional success to her mother.
Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!
If you are a female who tuned in to watch 'The Brady Bunch', there’s a good chance that you felt jealousy towards the family’s gorgeous eldest blonde daughter, Marcia. Well, Marcia’s on-screen perfection was quite inconsistent with Maureen McCormick’s real-life self. It was revealed after the show came to an end that she was battling drug addiction to coke. Turns out that she slept with her drug dealer in order to score some coke.
“I did it only a few times — and always for the same reason: I wanted coke”. Although she experienced success on the show, her addiction to cocaine and quaaludes led her to struggle for years after the show’s surmise and lose her reputation as a reputable actress.
Hitting the Peace Pipe
You can be sure that Marcia wasn’t the only member of the clan to be experimenting with drugs. It was the 70s, after all. Barry Williams played Greg Williams, the eldest of the Brady sons. Williams used many drugs during 'The Brady Bunch' years, he sometimes even smoked marijuana during filming and even showed up high on set.
Interestingly enough, he had a sporadic romance with his on-screen costar and fellow drug user, Maureen McCormick.