Susan Olsen sets the record straight on those ‘Brady Bunch’ affair rumors

Classic sitcom The Brady Bunch is remembered for being cheesy, wholesome family entertainment, but for decades there has been a less-than-wholesome rumor about an on-set affair between two Brady castmates.

But recently, one Brady Bunch star set the record straight about the legend.

Affair rumors

The rumor has been that Barry Williams — who played eldest Brady son Greg — had an affair with Florence Henderson, who played his on-screen stepmom Carol Brady.

circa 1972: The Brady family, from the television series, ‘The Brady Bunch’. Top row (left to right) Maureen McCormick, Florence Henderson, Barry Williams, Christopher Knight; bottom row: Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland, Robert Reed and Susan Olsen. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

For Brady Bunch fans, it’s no doubt an uncomfortable image to picture Greg and Carol hooking up. But rest assured, their affair is no more than a legend.

According to Susan Olsen, who played youngest child Cindy on The Brady Bunch, the legend has been greatly exaggerated and there was nothing salacious going on between the two stars.

“I disliked the rumors that Florence Henderson and Barry Williams had an affair,” Olsen recently told Fox News Digital.

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There is a hint of truth to the rumor: Williams had a crush on Henderson, even though the actress was about 20 years older than him, and while they went out one time, it was less of a date and more of a friendly night out between two co-stars.

“Barry had a crush on her,” Olsen, now 61, said. “She was very kind to him. 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.”

Lloyd Schwartz, son of series creator Sherwood Schwartz, also debunked the rumors.

“There have always been rumors about Barry and Florence having a date or affair, depending on who you ask,” Lloyd told Fox News last year. “It was all smoke and mirrors. The reality is Barry was interested in music, Florence was married with four kids.”

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“He asked me for a date”

So what did happen between the two? Both Williams and Henderson have shared their memories of their “date.”

In his 1992 memoir Growing Up Brady, Williams admitted he was smitten with his on-screen mom, but said it was an innocent crush.

“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.”

Florence Henderson also recalled her “date” with her 15-year-old co-star, speaking to People in 1991: “He had a crush on me, and he asked me out for a date, which I’ll never forget.”

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“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. 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.”

“The crush was a very serious thing for him, so I was never condescending,” Henderson told People. “I certainly liked him too, but I wasn’t exactly the Cher of the TV mom set.”

Florence Henderson died in 2016 at the age of 82. Williams paid tribute to her at the time, calling her “a mom, a friend, a coworker, an inspiration and a mentor,” and saying he kept in touch with her long after The Brady Bunch ended.

“There’s a reason the song starts off ‘The story of a lovely lady.’ That lovely lady was the real deal,” he told People. “She is a light that will shine for a long time.”

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagic)

Susan Olsen death rumor

There have been many strange urban legends surrounding The Brady Bunch over the decades. Perhaps people are drawn to finding the hidden darkness in this squeaky-clean TV show.

Speaking to Fox News, Olsen also shot down another unusual rumor… one that says she died as a child. She says the rumor started when a different girl named Susan Olsen died in a bus accident, which some outlets reported as the Cindy Brady actress.

Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

“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,” Olsen recalled.

But rest assured, she called the rumor “pretty much a fabrication:” “Rumors of my death are gross exaggerations,” she joked.

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Despite the rumors, we’re glad to hear the Bradys were really like family on set and there was nothing unwholesome going on!

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