Barry Williams plans to honor his TV mom on “Dancing With the Stars.”
On September 13, 2023, ABC unveiled the full cast for the upcoming 32nd season of the celebrity ballroom competition, and “The Brady Bunch” star was announced to be partnered with pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd.
The big “Brady” news came 13 years after Williams’ TV mom, Florence Henderson, competed for the mirrorball trophy with pro partner Corky Ballas. In 2016, fellow co-star Maureen McCormick was partnered with Artem Chigvintsev on the celebrity dancing show. Henderson, who played matriarch Carol Brady on the classic ABC sitcom, died of heart failure in 2016, just three days after she attended a DWTS taping in support of McCormick.
Six years later, Williams and Murgatroyd promised to honor “The Brady Bunch” — and Henderson, in particular — in the ballroom, possibly even on opening night.
Here’s what you need to know:
Barry Williams Said He Will Resurrect Classic ‘Brady Bunch’ Moves on ‘Dancing with the Stars’
After Williams, 68, was announced for “Dancing with the Stars” season 32, he told reporters he planned to resurrect dance moves he used on the classic “Brady Bunch” episodes that featured the cast singing and dancing.
“I want to incorporate all ‘The Brady Bunch’ dance moves,” the actor said, per The Messenger. “That includes the marking time, that includes the shuffle, the turn-around-and-spin and, of course, up-and-downs.”
Murgatroyd told the outlet that Williams will also pay tribute to Henderson on the dance floor.
“Barry was extremely close with her,” Murgatroyd said, noting that the actor got teary-eyed when talking about Henderson. “I think there’s definitely going to be a week — or maybe Week 1 — where we can pay homage to her for sure. She was a beautiful person.”
Following Henderson’s sudden death in 2016, “Dancing With the Stars” honored her with a star on the ballroom floor.
“A lovely addition to our ballroom in memory of a lovely lady. @dancingabc #dwts,” former host Tom Bergeron captioned a photo of the tribute star.
‘The Brady Bunch’ Premiered on September 26, 1969 on ABC
While Williams will be front and center on ABC TV for the “Dancing With the Stars” premiere night on September 26, 2023, his “Dancing” debut comes 54 years to the day that “The Brady Bunch” premiered on the same network.
In his 1993 book “Growing Up Brady,” Williams recalled shooting the pilot episode for the sitcom, in which he played eldest son Greg Brady. “We started shooting the pilot episode of ‘The Brady Bunch’ on my 14th birthday and six months later, much to my delight, ABC bought it. … It was set to premiere in September 1969 and by midsummer, we were filming at an absolutely furious pace.”
According to the Television Academy, “The Brady Bunch” initially received bad reviews and it never reached the top ten in the Nielsen ratings, but it still became a pop culture phenomenon and spawned multiple spinoffs.
While speaking with reporters in 2023, Williams called the coincidental start dates for “The Brady Bunch” and “Dancing With the Stars” “very special,” per The Messenger.