Robert Reed’s Biographer Remembers the ‘Brady Bunch’ Star, Revealing the Man Behind Mike Brady

For a lot of people, actor Robert Reed’s life begins and ends with his role as patriarch Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch. In fact, 27 years after his passing, and despite the fact he has nothing to do with it, his presence is very much felt on HGTV’s A Very Brady Renovation. Yet despite this, there was so much more to him than his role on that iconic series (which is currently airing on the MeTV Network) that’s celebrating its 50th anniversary.

“Bob was a classically-trained actor who came from a very professional background,” reveals his biographer, Ted Nichelson, who’s also the author of Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour. “He studied with Alvina Krause at Northwestern University, who was one of the most famous and legendary acting teachers of the 20th Century. Bob was extremely intelligent and well-versed. He spoke more than one language, he had been around the world and took everything that he did very seriously. He was a perfectionist, and really was interested in being an actor along the lines of a Shakespearean traditional actor. That’s what I think people need to know about him. And that he had only gotten involved with The Brady Bunch very much by chance. And by accident.”

Robert was coming off of a very successful Emmy-winning legal drama called The Defenders, a highly-rated series that ran on CBS from 1961-65. When the series did come to an end, he attempted to parlay its success into a movie career that didn’t really materialize.

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CBS Television Distribution

“He did score a big job in the movie Star!, which starred Julie Andrews,” says Ted. “He was going around doing a lot of theater here and there. He did two shows on Broadway prior to The Brady Bunch, Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park — he replaced Robert Redford — and Avanti!. So he had an extremely successful career at a young age. He also had a deal at Paramount where he was going to do pilots for them. The intention was for him to a TV series on Barefoot in the Park, but then Paramount decided to go with an all African-American cast for that.

“I think Bob was getting frustrated with the whole Paramount thing,” he continues. “He always really had a short temper, but that came from the fact that he had very high standards, which is what I think made him successful. He had many friends who were very talented, but did not end up being successful. I think people just need to remember where he was before The Brady Bunch came along.”

To continue discovering where Robert Reed was before, during and after The Brady Bunch, please scroll down.

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