Bob Holiday, Broadway's First Superman
Bob Holiday's Publicity Portfolio

Shoulda! Woulda! Coulda!

The Brady Bunch Edition

Bob Holiday
became a household name!

Sherwood Schwartz Quote

Hear him in this 12-second clip from A&E.

What did Sherwood Schwartz mean,
"I was being forced"?
We can't be sure, but
Bob Holiday may have provided the answer!

In his book Superman on Broadway (© 2003, co-authored with Chuck Harter), Bob shared an interesting story.

In 1969, I auditioned for a new TV show called The Brady Bunch. Sherwood Schwartz, the show's producer, told me that I had the lead role of the Father. I was ecstatic! Several actresses auditioned for the part of my "wife," and after much discussion, Florence Henderson was chosen. We had a great chemistry together. Sherwood told me that he was convinced that the show was going to be a huge hit. There were plans for the whole "family" at live musical gigs. I figured that this would open up Vegas for me.
At the eleventh hour, Sherwood called me, practically in tears. He said the executives at ABC had overridden his decision to cast me. They had chosen Robert Reed for the part. He had been on a show called The Defenders, and was a "known" TV actor.
I was devastated. Extremely disappointed. My big break had been yanked out from under me. I had to leave Hollywood, and in the very early 1970s, I was back on the road in musical theatre.

So is this the story behind Sherwood Schwartz's choice of the word "forced"?

We have yet to find a Brady Bunch retrospective that mentions Bob Holiday. So we went straight to Florence Henderson herself to ask about him. She graciously wrote back.

Florence Henderson as Carol Brady
Dear Toni,
I so enjoyed doing the screen test with Bob for the Brady Bunch and I was very surprised that he didn't get the part of Mike Brady. I never really got to see him again. But I'm happy to know he is well and I wish him continuous success.

Ms. Henderson passed away just a few months after writing this. All of America misses her. staff simply cannot watch The Brady Bunch without seeing the strong resemblance between Bob Holiday and Robert Reed. And when you hear rumors of how much Robert Reed hated the scripts (although he loved his TV family), you just can't help but wonder what it would have been like if Superman's second secret identity had been Mike Brady.

Bob Holiday and Robert Reed

Quote from Superman On Broadway ©2003 by Bob Holiday and Chuck Harter
Additional text from personal correspondence with Florence Henderson, 1/5/2016
and © 2019, Toni Collins
All images, video and audio not in the public domain are used in accordance with the Fair Use Law (Per Title 17—United States Code— Section 107)
and remain the property of the film or photo copyright owners.
Additional photos courtesy the Estate of Bob Holiday
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