While we all know about the TV character Alice — the sassy, but caring maid on the iconic family sitcom — the spotlight was never shown on Ann herself and her personal life. However, she was as warm as she came across on screen when it came to dealing with her young costars, even if she didn’t have kids of her own. “She was a very nice woman, but had nothing to do with children, so the idea of Alice being so beloved by the characters of the ‘Brady Bunch’ was not reflective of her as a person,” Lloyd J. Schwartz — the son of Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz — explained.
“She was never married and everybody suspected that she was gay. She and I actually talked about it and she said, ‘No, I have lots of issues, but that’s not one of them,'” Lloyd continued. “She told me she once had a relationship, I think with a married guy or something, and it ended badly. I don’t know that she ever had anything else after that. But that’s almost apocryphal.”
While Ann wasn’t interested in spending time with children in general, Ann was all about the little ones she worked alongside everyday. “She conveyed that she really cares for them, because Ann really cared for the kids. That’s the kind of person she was that comes across and it informs the character. It makes her be loved,” culture historian Geoffrey Mark added.
Ann forged great relationships with her costars on set, even the younger children. “Although she did not like children, and never had any of her own, she grew to love the Brady Bunch kids and enjoyed friendships with all of them for many years after the show ended,” Ted Nichelson, co-author of The Brady Bunch Hour, Love to Love You, Bradys told Closer.
“In fact, because they were spending so much time together on set, she wanted it to be pleasant and for everyone to get along and have as much fun as possible,” author Kimberly Potts — who wrote The Way We All Became The Brady Bunch: How the Canceled Sitcom Became the Beloved Pop Culture Icon We Are Still Talking About Today — revealed. “She was very appreciative of having the job and, because she did a lot of craftwork herself, embroidery and knitting and things like that, she kind of got them all into it, including the kids and, on an occasion or two, [costar] Robert Reed. They would do little needlepoint projects together, and there was a craft magazine that visited the set and did this big cover story on how the Bradys loved to do craftwork together.”
“I do think she saw the Brady kids as sort of her family, which is part of the reason she never turned down any of the reunions,” Kimberly added. “Even the variety show, which she didn’t have any special interest in doing. But, like Robert Reed, she wanted to be a part of it every time they all got back together. It had been a happy experience for her.”
While she didn’t have kids of her own, we know Ann left behind an incredible lasting impact on all those she crossed paths with.