‘Brady Bunch’ star shuts down rumor that her TV mother hooked up with her TV brother

A smiling woman with long straight blond hair, wearing a beige outfit and silver jewelry.
“Brady Bunch” star Susan Olsen defended her co-stars in a new interview.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision/AP)

“The Brady Bunch” star Susan Olsen insisted during a recent interview that an old rumor of an affair between her TV brother and TV mother was never anything more than a hunch.

Olsen, who played little Cindy Brady on the cherished sitcom, told Fox News that although Barry Williams famously “had a crush” on Florence Henderson, her co-stars were never romantically involved. Williams played Greg, the eldest of the Brady children, while Henderson portrayed the matriarch of the family.

“I disliked the rumors that Florence Henderson and Barry Williams had an affair,” Olsen said during an event at the Hollywood Museum.


“She was very kind to him,” she added. “She let him take her out for her birthday. So I don’t like the implication that’s been out there, that something was going on with them. There wasn’t anything going on with them except for mutual respect and love.”

Florence Henderson, the wholesome actress who went from Broadway star to television icon when she became Carol Brady, the ever-cheerful mom residing over “The Brady Bunch,” has died.

Nov. 24, 2016

In a 1991 interview with People magazine, Henderson said she would “never forget” the day Williams asked her “on a date.” Because “the crush was a very serious thing for him,” Henderson recalled being careful to avoid striking a “condescending” tone with Williams.

“He was too young to drive, so his older brother brought him to my hotel, and then I drove us to the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where we saw a singer,” Henderson told People. “It was so sweet because Barry made sure we had a good table.

“After the show, his brother picked him up and took him home,” she continued. “I certainly liked him too, but I wasn’t exactly the Cher of the TV mom set.”

HGTV’s reproduction of the fictional Brady house has mangled the real-deal, late-’50s split-level home designed by Harry M. Londelius. He never knew of the home’s TV stardom.

Sept. 23, 2019

According to the Huffington Post, Williams also reminisced about their night together — which ended with Henderson giving him a kiss on the cheek — and clarified the extent of his feelings for his castmate in his 1992 memoir, “Growing Up Brady.”

Henderson died in 2016 at age 82, while Williams turned 68 in September.


“When those little things called hormones start kicking in, you get excited by even inanimate objects. It wasn’t that I sought to bed her. I just wanted to spend time with her,” Williams wrote.

“It was flattering that she gave me any attention at all.”

On March 8, 1974, a sitcom that had rated no higher than 20th place during its five-year run aired its final episode.

Feb. 13, 1995

While speaking with Fox News, Olsen shut down another long-standing rumor. The former child actor explained that at least one media outlet erroneously reported her death decades ago after confusing her with another little girl named Susan Olsen who died in a schoolbus accident.

“That’s pretty much a fabrication,” Olsen told Fox News.

“There were always rumors that I was dead. … It made me feel like Paul McCartney because it was at the same time that there were rumors that Paul McCartney was dead.”

Though she struggled with fame, Olsen said she was able to maintain a relatively normal childhood thanks to her supportive and responsible parents. She eventually quit TV and became an acting teacher who discourages her students from chasing the spotlight.

“A lot of those sad stories you hear about [concerning child stars] are really the product of parents who pushed their kids into the business,” she told Fox News.

“I had a father who was constantly trying to bribe me to get out of it. ... He wanted me to just go to school and be a regular kid. My parents were not pushing me at all. I had to fight for my right to stay in.”