Barry Williams (actor)

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Barry Williams
File:10.1.10BarryWilliamsByLuigiNovi1.jpg
Williams at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 1, 2010.
Born Barry William Blenkhorn
(1954-09-30) September 30, 1954 (age 62)
Santa Monica, California, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1967–present
Spouse(s) Diane Martin (1990–1992)[1]
Eila Mary Matt[2][3] (1999–2005)[1]
Children 2

Barry William Blenkhorn (born September 30, 1954),[4] known professionally as Barry Williams, is an American actor best known for his role as the eldest of the Brady sons, Greg Brady, on the ABC television series The Brady Bunch.

Early life and career

Williams, youngest of 3 boys, was born in 1954 in Santa Monica, California,[4] to Doris May Moore and Canadian-born Frank Millar Blenkhorn of English, Scottish, and German ancestry[5] Barry and siblings Craig and Scott Blenkhorn[4] grew up in Pacific Palisades, California, where actor Peter Graves was a neighbor.[6] Williams decided as a child that he wanted to be an actor, and in 1967 he made his television debut in an episode of Dragnet.

File:The Brady Bunch Barry Williams 1973.jpg
Williams' most famous role was as oldest son Greg Brady on the 1970s sitcom The Brady Bunch.

Williams continued to be cast in guest roles on other TV series including Adam-12, The Invaders, That Girl, Mission: Impossible, The Mod Squad, Here Come the Brides and Bartleby, the Scrivener[7] before being cast in 1969 as Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch.

Later career

Following the cancellation of The Brady Bunch in 1974, Williams continued to appear in guest roles on television, and became involved in musical theater, touring with productions such as Grease, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story.

In 1988, Williams appeared on Broadway in the musical Romance/Romance with Tony Award-nominee Alison Fraser. Williams took over the lead male role of "Alfred/Sam" when Scott Bakula left the production. Years later, Williams was able to capitalize on being typecast as Greg Brady. Amid a procession of appearances in TV and movies that played up his famous teen role, he ended up landing a role that was a departure from the Brady image. He was tapped to play English con man Hannibal in 1984, who conspired with Holly Sutton Scorpio (Emma Samms) on the top-rated General Hospital.

Williams has appeared in various Brady Bunch TV movie reunions, including the 1988 Christmas movie, A Very Brady Christmas.

In 1989, Williams was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award for his role as Greg Brady.[8]

His 1992 autobiography, Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg, co-written with Chris Kreski, was a New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a 2000 TV movie titled Growing Up Brady starring Adam Brody as Williams.

In 2000, Williams sang a parody of the Eminem hit single, "The Real Slim Shady", called "The Real Greg Brady" co-written by comedy writer and radio producer, David Brody, and Jay Gilbert of Froggy Radio in Cincinnati, Ohio and he sang the same song at Kings Island in Cincinnati in 2008. In 2001–2002, he played Manager Dean "The Machine" Strickland in 13 episodes of the sitcom, Hollywood 7, which featured the British pop group S Club 7.

File:Barry Williams.jpg
Barry Williams signing autographs in 2003 at "Barry Williams Disco Night"

In 2002, Williams participated on the FOX television show Celebrity Boxing, in a boxing match between him and former Partridge Family star, Danny Bonaduce. He lost to Bonaduce who holds a black belt in martial arts.[which?]

Williams played himself in the 2003 film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.

In December 2007, he launched a fan portal named "The Greg Brady Project". The site features ongoing conversations with Barry, fans and other celebrities.

In 2008, Williams appeared in Episode 6 of the VH1 series, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Williams participated as a friend of one of the patients, Chyna, and explained to her during a group session how her drinking had a negative impact on his own life and career.[9]

In January 2010, he took a role in The Asylum mockbuster, Mega Piranha,[10] who played alongside the former teen pop singer Tiffany.[11]

Williams has also created a cabaret act that pays tribute to his past and hosts the satellite radio trivia show, The Real Greg Brady's Totally '70s Pop Quiz starring Barry Williams, broadcast Saturdays on Sirius Satellite Radio's "70s on 7" channel.[12]

In late 2011, Williams started appearing in a show at the Yakov Smirnoff theater in Branson, Missouri, where he resides. He then moved to the Hughes Brothers Theatre in Branson, where he performs his 70s Music Celebration! musical variety show, which showcases his singing and guitar playing ability along with clips, videos, and stories from his time on The Brady Bunch.

File:Barry Williams in Concert, Branson, Missouri 101414.jpg
Williams performing in Branson, Missouri, October 2014

Actors' Equity Association dispute

In January 2001, Williams was fined $52,000 by Actors' Equity Association, the union representing stage actors, for starring as Captain Von Trapp in a non-union tour of The Sound of Music. According to Variety, the production was picketed in several cities. Williams responded by filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that the fine was illegal because he had resigned from the union in September 2000 before the tour began. Equity alleged that Williams, who joined the union in 1974, was still a member when he began contract negotiations for the role.[13]

Williams was reinstated by Actor's Equity as a member in good standing in 2005 after he unionized a non-Equity production of A Christmas Carol in late 2004.[citation needed]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Silverman, Stephen M. (January 28, 2005). "In Brief". People. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  2. Dam, Julie K.L.; Miller, Samantha (December 13, 1999). "The Family Still Matters". People. 52 (23). Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  3. "Experience Matt". Seawinds Asset Management. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2015.  Note: Some sources erroneously give first name as "Ella"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Barry Williams". TVGuide.com. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  5. Family Tree
  6. Williams, Barry. "Greg's Story". The Greg Brady Project. Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  7. "Britannica Classic: Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  8. "10th Annual Youth in Film Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
  9. Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Season 1, Episode 6, VH1.com, accessed February 28, 2011.
  10. "First Pics From Megapiranha Stink Like Fish". Dread Central. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  11. "Megapiranha Artwork Everything You Could Have Hoped For". Dread Central. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  12. Sirius "Totally '70s" home page
  13. Jones, Chris. "Williams battles fine by Equity", Variety, June 25, 2001

External links