The kids loved Mrs. Whitfield. Their parents loved her. Florence Henderson loved her. Bob Reed loved her. Ann B. Davis loved her. And so did Lloyd and I. Mrs. Whitfield was a lovely lady, and I'm sorry to say she passed on in 2006. She's no longer with us but her work with those kids will remain as long as The Brady Bunch remains in syndication, which may be forever.
An unspoken responsibility that became part of my job was hormone patrol. The Brady kids were attractive to America—and attractive to each other. Each of them had an opposite-sex counterpart with whom they were spending an inordinate amount of time. It is only natural that relationships would begin to develop.
Much has been written and exaggerated about the nonexistent affair between Barry and Florence. Florence was happily married with four kids. Barry was happily horny with unrealistic aspirations. Barry was very interested in music, and Florence was an expert. He asked her to go along with him to see a singer at a concert or club. They went. I'm not sure who drove, but she politely kissed him good-night—on the cheek, from what I understand. This is the extent of the "affair" between Barry and Florence. Sorry, I wish I could make that more salacious, but it wasn't.
The real issues that were developing were the crushes that Barry had on Maureen and Maureen had on Barry. Fortunately, much of the time they alternated on who liked who. They never seemed to be of a similar mind at the same time. Barry complicated Maureen's interest in him by having a parade of girl friends. At the beginning of the show, Maureen wasn't ready for boys. That lasted about a year.
All I knew was that passion was imminent, and that it would be destructive. On-set relationships between adult stars are tricky—not so much when the relationship is going well, but when dating stars break up and they have to continue acting with each other, all hell breaks loose. If it's complicated for adults who have had relationships before, for teen-agers (who have no prior experiences) it's even more difficult. It would be simpler if they just didn't start anything. Noticing increased eye contact and giggling between Barry and Maureen, I decided to go into a preventative strategy. I took Barry aside and appealed to his vanity.
"Barry, I want to talk to you about Maureen."
"She's cute. Really cute. And you know the best thing about really cute girls? They have really cute friends. You're a good-looking guy. You can use Maureen to meet some of her cute girl friends. That way you'll always have a large field of girls."
As an afterthought I added, "And besides, if you get something going with Maureen, it could only limit you."
I think Barry bought the logic.
Chris and Eve were eyeing each other as well. They had couple potential, but at that age, girls develop faster than boys, and Chris was oblivious about Eve's advanced interest. After the series, Chris and Eve went out. I've had no reports.
As for Mike and Susan, it was mutual puppy love. They were then, and are now, good friends. Along with my script, I carried a metaphorical bucket of water to try to cool down libidos. After the second season, I got a request from Paramount and ABC. Barry was becoming a teen idol, and they thought a promotional trip would help create more interest in him, and in the show. I was asked to take him on a publicity tour as a guardian.