Brady Bunch star Susan Olsen addresses cast affair and death rumor: ‘I don’t like the implication’

Susan Olsen wants to clarify the truth about an alleged on-set affair with her squeaky-clean TV family.

The former child star, who played the famous Cindy Brady on ‘The Brady Bunch,’ has been hit with numerous crazy rumors about the hit 1970s sitcom. However, there’s one particular thing involving her TV mom, Carol Brady, and series brother, Greg Brady, that she’s struggled with over the years.

Susan Olsen speaks on the podium for the Hollywood Museum

Susan Olsen supported an exhibit about the Motion Picture Mothers at the Hollywood Museum. It is open to the public until June 4th. (The Hollywood Museum)

“I didn’t like the rumors that Florence Henderson and Barry Williams were having an affair,” Olsen told Fox News Digital of her co-stars.

“Barry had a crush on her,” the 61-year-old clarified. “She was very nice to him. She let him take her out for her birthday. So I don’t like the suggestion that there’s something wrong with them. There was nothing going on with them except…”mutual respect and love.”

The beloved matriarch, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 82, previously commented on the outing.


Barry Williams is hugged by Florence Henderson

Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch, later admitted he had a crush on his TV mom, Florence Henderson, and left. (ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

“He had a crush on me and took me on a date that I’ll never forget,” the actress told People magazine in 1991. “He was too young to drive, so his older brother took 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,” Henderson shared at the time. “For him, the crush was very serious, so I never let myself be condescended. I definitely liked him too, but I wasn’t exactly the Cher from the TV mother set.”

Williams also shared the story of a lovely lady in his book Growing Up Brady. In it, the actor insisted the date was nothing more than a dinner to remember.

“When these little things called hormones start to work, you get aroused even by inanimate objects,” he wrote, as quoted by the outlet. “It wasn’t like I wanted to sleep with her. I just wanted to spend time with her. It was flattering that she paid any attention to me at all.”

Another rumor that Olsen was keen to dispel was that about her death.

“That’s pretty much an invention,” she giggled before getting serious. “There was actually a young girl named Susan Olsen whose coat got stuck in the door of a bus and was dragged several blocks and died. And an East Coast news source reported that it was me. And there were always rumors that I was dead… I felt like Paul McCartney because at the same time there were rumors that Paul McCartney was dead.


“Rumors of my death are gross exaggerations,” she added.

Mike Lookinland as Bobby Brady whispers in the ear of Susan Olsen, who plays Cindy Brady

Susan Olsen (left) has been the victim of a murder scam for years. (CBS via Getty Images)

Olsen recently supported The Hollywood Museum for his tribute to Motion Picture Mothers. The exhibition is open to the public until June 4th. The non-profit organization was founded in 1939 as a small social group of women whose children were in show business. “Leave It to Beaver” star Jerry Mathers’ mother, Marilyn Mathers, serves as the organization’s president.

Olsen’s mother was a member of the Motion Picture Mothers long before her acting career. Her siblings had already made a name for themselves in Hollywood.

Despite the show’s success, Olsen admitted that she found it difficult to be in the media spotlight.

The cast of the Brady Bunch post on the steps

The cast of The Brady Bunch circa 1969. Downstairs: Susan Olsen (as Cindy Brady); Mike Lookinland (as Bobby Brady); Eve Plumb (as Jan Brady); Christopher Knight (as Peter Brady); Maureen McCormick (as Marcia Brady); Barry Williams (as Greg Brady); Ann B Davis (as Alice Nelson); Florence Henderson (as Carol Brady); and Robert Reed (as Mike Brady). (CBS via Getty Images)

“Fame was the only part I didn’t like,” she explained. “I loved the work. I loved my comrades. I really loved the industry. I really liked what I did. I was a kid who wanted a job.” [But] To me fame was silly. Just really, really ridiculous. It was like fool’s gold.

“Shortly after the show premiered, I went to see my uncle, who was an acting teacher in Palo Alto,” she said. “He taught high school and had these really extravagant performances. And we went north to see one of his performances. I was recognized in the audience and mobbed. They had to call the police to get me out. That was it.” That huge crowd. I had seen an adult who [said]”Oh look, her little face is red.” She can’t breathe – here, sign another one [autograph].’ It was very, very scary. I did not like it. I was ready to leave the show.

Olsen shared that she later learned fans had been bothering her “out of love” for her character – but that didn’t make it any easier.

BRADY BUNCH PRODUCER LLOYD SCHWARTZ takes on the biggest rumor to hit the popular sitcom: “SMOKE AND MIRRORS”

A closeup of Susan Olsen as Cindy Brady in a blue shirt

Susan Olsen admitted that being a child star wasn’t always glamorous. (CBS via Getty Images)

“I teach acting to children,” Olsen explained. “I say, ‘What do you want?’ And they say, ‘I want to be famous!’ and I say, ‘No, no, no, that’s not what you want. You want to do a good job. And fame is the by-product of good work.’”

On the surface, The Brady Bunch resembled just another harmless TV sitcom about a family living in an American suburb who find themselves in a different silly situation every week. Long after the series completed its first airing in 1974, the series enjoyed great acclaim and has returned to television in a variety of guises, including 1977’s The Brady Bunch Hour, 1981’s The Brady Brides and The Brady’s”. in 1990. It was also seen endlessly in reruns.

The premiere took place in 1969 and it was also one of the first programs to bring the blended family to television. As the theme song reminded viewers each week, Henderson’s Carol was a single mother raising three daughters when she met her TV husband, Robert Reed’s Mike Brady, a single father raising three boys. The eight of them became The Brady Bunch, starring a quirky housekeeper played by Ann B. Davis.

Susan Olsen as Cindy Brady in a blue blouse and red pigtails

Despite the series’ popularity, Susan Olsen said she had a normal childhood. (ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Olsen said her parents, like her TV parents, were determined to give their children as normal an upbringing as possible.

“All six of us [Brady kids]with the ecxeption of [co-star] eve [Plumb] “Anyone who went to private school went back to regular public school when we weren’t shooting,” she explained. “We were all trying to be as normal as possible… That was very important to me.” And I made my mother promise that if I got stuck and things got to my head, she would take me out of business .

“A lot of those sad stories that you hear about [concerning child stars] are really the product of parents who pushed their kids into the business,” she continued. “I had a father who was constantly trying to bribe me to get out of the business.” He’d say, “I’ll get you a horse — please just leave this silly business behind.” He just wanted me to go to school go and be a normal kid. My parents didn’t push me at all. I had to fight for my right to stay in and be part of the show. I remember saying to my dad, “I understand that you think my life is abnormal now, but do you think it will do me any good to see that there’s a show on Friday night where I used to be, and I’m not there?” it more? That’s going to be pretty awful too.”


A close up of Robert Reed wearing a white shirt and smiling as Mike Brady

Robert Reed played beloved patriarch Mike Brady on the series. (CBS via Getty Images)

Olsen said that after The Brady Bunch wrapped, she was dying to show off her acting muscles. Even after the cameras stopped rolling, Reed was a loving father figure who offered his support.

“He wrote one of two letters of recommendation to get me into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts,” she revealed. “He also offered me his house. He lived in Pasadena, the school is in Pasadena. And he said, ‘Susan, if you want to live with me, you’re welcome to stay here.’ … Robert was just wonderful. Just a darling. He loved and cared for us as if we were his children.

However, Olsen said she saw the signs on the wall when she was 23. After being typecast, she decided to quit show business.

A closeup of Susan Olsen in a blue dress

Susan Olsen later taught acting. (ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

“I went to academy … and just thought I’d stick with it because I couldn’t really let my imagination run wild,” she said. “I really wanted to break the norm. I’ve done my best in auditions while playing drug addicts or ax murderers – things like that. And they said, ‘You’re really good, but we just can’t do it.’ Cast by Cindy Brady for this role.’ And it’s like, if I can’t do the meaty stuff I want to do, why am I doing it?”

Today, Olsen said she has a close bond with the other Brady kids. Reed died in 1992 at the age of 59 and Davis died in 2014 at the age of 88.

The Brady kids pose in front of a white step-and-repeat today

The Brady kids today. Left to right: Barry Williams, Eve Plumb, Maureen McCormack, Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen and Mike Lookinland. (Getty Images)

“I think the biggest secret behind ‘The Brady Bunch’ is that [creator] Sherwood Schwartz cast people who were interesting, got along really well, and valued family,” she recalled. “He made sure we all had good parents.” And the love you see between us all — it’s absolutely real. I don’t think you can fool an audience for very long. I think the reason people loved us is because they knew we loved each other.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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