When it came to eating dinner in the Brady family, one could always count on a delicious meal. Whether it was pork chops and apple sauce or spaghetti and meatballs, Housekeeper Alice Nelson, always served up groovy dinners for Carol Brady, Mike Brady, and kids Jan, Marcia, Cindy, Greg, Bobby, and Peter. However, it's all smoke and mirrors in the land of Hollywood. Here's the story of a woman named Ann Bradford Davis and a thing called method acting.
Ann B Davis, better known as Alice on the Brady Bunch was born in Schenectady, New York with her twin sister, Harriet. After watching her older brother perform in "Oklahoma!", she decided to try her hand at acting. She graduated University of Michigan with a theater degree. She created the background story of Alice as a maid who worked to help her twin through medical school.
According to an interview with People Magazine in 1992, actress Ann B. Davis shared that the only thing she and the beloved housekeeper had in common was their relationship status of being unmarried. "I basically don't do that well with children," she answered, noting that her twin sister said she was a great Aunt to her children. And unlike Alice who lived in the fridge, Ann's least favorite room in the house was the kitchen. "When it's my turn in the house, we just eat out," she shared.
That didn't stop her from acting the part in the sitcom. According to Spokesman.com, Ann B. Davis would find herself adding salt and pepper to ready-made stew. More often than not she stirred a pot of boiling water with a wooden spoon.
Even though Ann B. Davis didn't enjoy cooking, the Emmy award-winning actress wrote a cookbook in 1994. Alice's Brady Bunch Cookbook includes recipes from fellow cast members like Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb and Florence Henderson, along with clever antidotes and trivia pertaining to the show.
Most of the other recipes were written and created by Ron Newcomer and Diane Smolen and focus on recipes that the Brady family could have eaten. Surprisingly Ron and Diane weren't hired to write the book because of the culinary skill. Rather, it was because the duo knew ABC's, Sherwood Schwartz (the creator of The Brady Bunch) and Davis's agent. According to Spokesman, the writing team asked friends and family for recipes and added them in with catchy names.
Food played a pivotal part in the Brady household, especially whenever Alice was involved.
Ann B. Davis passed in 2014 from a subdural hematoma in San Antonio, Texas. Alice (and Ann) will always be a part of the Brady Bunch family through show reruns. The Brady Bunch Star is remembered for her role of Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz on The Bob Cummings Show, The John Forsythe Show as well as the following spinoff series: The Brady Bunch Movie, The Brady Girls Get Married, A Very Brady Christmas and The Brady Brides.
This post was originally published on February 20, 2020.