Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of TV landmarks Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, who passed away early Tuesday in Los Angeles, is remembered fondly by those who knew him.
And despite rumors that Schwartz was conflicted over star Robert Reed’s homosexuality and refused to attend Reed’s 1992 funeral because he feared knowledge of the actor’s HIV-positive status would harm the franchise, two of the actors who played Bradys say that’s not true — Schwartz and Reed simply didn’t get along, but it had nothing to do with the fact that Reed was gay.
Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady and coauthored the book Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, tells The Advocate, “My understanding is that Sherwood and [son] Lloyd did not attend Bob's funeral because they felt Bob would truly not want them there and it would be in bad taste to attend. I think they were trying to respect Bob's wishes.”
Barry Williams, a.k.a. Greg Brady, agrees. “Sherwood Schwartz didn't skip on Robert Reed's funeral because of AIDS and its potential impact on the popularity of The Brady Bunch. He couldn't have cared less that Bob was gay. By the time Bob passed away in 1992 The Brady Bunch was established and popular enough that nothing would get in its way.”
In fact, in a 1999 E! True Hollywood Story about The Brady Bunch, Schwartz expressed concern over the fact that Reed had to conceal his sexuality. “Here he is, the father of America,” Schwartz said in an interview for the show, “and he can't come out of the closet."
“Sherwood was supporter of all human rights and personal choices,” says Williams. “He and his contributions will be missed.”