As the eldest Brady son, Barry Williams’ character epitomized the popular high school kid. Gifted in school, talented in sports, and known as the "the Casanova of Clinton Avenue," Greg could have let these things go to his head. But he didn’t, relentlessly doing the right thing, especially if his siblings were involved.
Parents watching the Brady Bunch adored Greg, younger audiences looked up to him, and there were probably more than a few crushes had by his peers. This is why so many of us still associate Barry Williams with his role as Greg instead of the many other industry gigs he has held since then.
Barry Williams was born Barry William Blenkhorn on September 30th, 1954, in Santa Monica, California. Unlike his on-screen portrayal of the oldest child, Williams was the youngest of three, raised by his parents in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. He knew from a young age that he wanted to perform on screen. When he was eleven, he began formally studying acting and appeared on RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. Afterward, he started going by Barry Williams instead of Blenkhorn.
At just thirteen years old, he would make his professional acting debut on a 1967 episode of Dragnet. As a child actor, he continued to pick up numerous guest roles. Starring in more popular television series at the time, such as Adam 12, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., The Invaders, and Mission Impossible.
In 1969, almost three years after his first on-screen appearance, Williams would score the most significant role of his life. He was cast as the eldest Brady son, Greg, in the hit television show The Brady Bunch.
The Brady Bunch
The sitcom followed the lives of a blended family of three girls, belonging to mother Carol Brady, and three boys, fathered by Mike Brady. The family was portrayed as sweet-natured, morally upstanding, and incredibly idealistic. Through their misadventures, they taught viewers from all walks of life important lessons while providing plenty of laughs.
Williams’ character, Greg, was Mike Brady’s oldest son. He always stood by his word, did the right thing, and was endlessly willing to help his family. Greg was also quite good-looking, portrayed as the popular high school jock who excelled in sports and was academically high achieving.
Many of his storylines had to do with romantic relationships as a result. When Williams began the show, he was fifteen; as he aged, it was alleged that producers groomed him to fulfill a teen idol role. By the show’s conclusion in 1974, Williams was twenty. He had spent his entire teenage years as part of The Brady Bunch, appearing in 117 episodes in total.
After the Brady Bunch
Despite the show’s cancellation, Williams’s career didn’t deviate from the Brady Bunch for years as the company was eager to continue capitalizing on America’s favorite family. He portrayed Greg Brady in for-television movies and spin-off series such as The Brady Kids, The Brady Bunch Hour, and The Brady Girls Get Married.
As the call for Greg Brady petered out, Williams continued to pick up guest roles in television series like Three’s Company and General Hospital. However, his acting career wasn’t taking off for one very important reason. Williams refused to audition for roles but still expected to receive them.
He has since stated that he didn’t feel he needed to audition, figuring his acting credits were enough to earn him roles without competing with other actors. He recalls being arrogant and rebellious. When he had to sell his house because he wasn’t scoring major roles and could not earn a living, he decided to start fresh.
Williams became heavily involved in musical theater, traveling with Grease, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story productions. In all, Williams has acted in over 85 theater productions. He had a short venture into the music industry but was never a successful recording artist. Williams continued to appear on Broadway, notably in Romance/Romance in the late eighties, and scored small guest roles on shows like Full House throughout the nineties.
What is Barry Williams doing now?
Brady mania has persisted through the ages, and Williams still capitalizes on it occasionally. Appearing in The Bradys in the nineties, The Brady Bunch 35th Anniversary Reunion Special in 2004, and A Very Brady Renovation in 2019.
He also wrote an autobiography titled Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg, which was later adapted into a movie. Additionally, Williams has sung parody songs, hosted talent shows, created a cabaret act, starred in musical variety theater shows, and started a fan portal called "The Greg Brady Project."
Most recently, he acted in Lifetime’s 2021 for-television movie, Blending Christmas with his Brady Bunch co-stars Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen, and Robbie Rist.
Williams was married to Diane Martin from 1990 to 1992. They share a son named Brandon. In 1999 he wed Eila Mary Matt, a successful business manager. The pair divorced in 2005 but not before having a daughter, Samantha. Then, in 2017, Williams married Tina Mahina, a Polynesian dancer, and professional Hawaiin hula dancer. Williams and his wife currently live in Branson, Missouri.
You can follow Barry Williams on his website or his band, Barry Williams and the Traveliers, actively performing. He is also on Cameo, hosts a podcast called The Real Brady Bros, and regularly appears with his Brady Bunch co-stars, with whom he is still close.