Iconic ’70s television stars Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick and Florence Henderson fondly recall the man who made them household names and an integral part of American culture, Sherwood Schwartz, after his death on July 11th. Schwartz, the creator of such shows as The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, died at age 94, surrounded by his family.
The death of television producer and creator Sherwood Schwartz is bittersweet for kids who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s. The creator of such iconic television shows as Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch died surrounded by family on July 11th, at the age of 94.
When asked by The Hollywood Reporter their feelings on the death of their longtime mentor, actors Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick and Florence Henderson were wistful in their recollection of the man who helped make them household names, nearly 40 years after their show first premiered.
Said Williams, who portrayed Greg Brady, “As much as Robert Reed (Mike Brady) was like a dad to me, Sherwood was like a grandpa. The whole Brady family is close and I’m in touch with his family and knew his passing was imminent. I was happy to know he was with his family and as comfortable as possible.”
Florence Henderson, who played matriarch Carol Brady, revealed, “He was a wonderful teacher in life and again, in death. He taught us how to leave with dignity and courage. Sherwood has a wonderful family who so loved and respected him. I know his Brady Bunch family feels the same way.”
As eldest daughter Marcia Brady, Maureen McCormick found Sherwood to be a nurturing man who truly cared about those he worked with. She released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying, “My mom, father and I would all go to Sherwood for advice because he always had a great answer. He’d tell you that you’d have the answer within; he’d always tell you how to turn something around to make it a positive.”
For the five-year run of the show, Schwartz was a mentor to the Brady kids, but at times, as all bosses and employees do, they got on each other’s nerves. As Barry Williams revealed in his book, Growing Up Brady, Schwartz always had the final say, even when others believed they knew the right way to handle a situation. He was responsible for the constant that was Cindy Brady’s hair (pigtails, later braids), fought bitterly for creative control with Brady dad Robert Reed off-camera, knew he had a good thing going when he sold the Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island into syndication and brought the cast together for several BB reunion specials and spinoffs, which kept them in the public eye for most of their adult careers.