Barry Williams AKA Greg Brady gained international fame thanks to being on a beloved television sitcom that also helped him launch a modest musical career. What more could he ask for, right? Well, Barry’s life apparently isn’t quite as glamorous and glorious as it might seem from outside observers. His personal life has definitely had its fair share of trials and tribulations – but we’ll get to that in a minute. To gain an understanding of who Barry Williams really is and what makes him tick, we got to take a little peek back in time at his childhood.
Barry Williams Blenkhorn was born on September 30, 1954, in Santa Monica, California. He is the youngest of three brothers. His Mother Doris May Moore was a homemaker and his father Frank Miller Blenkhorn was a Canadian-born World War II veteran and successful entrepreneur who operated several businesses before entering into retirement. Barry spent most of his childhood with his two older brothers, Craig and Scott Blenhorn in Pacific Palisades, California.
Peter Graves Was His Neighbor
Some kids want to grow up to be astronauts while others want to firefighters. When Williams was just four years old, he already knew that he wanted to pursue a career in Hollywood. His chances of actually pulling off that dream substantially increased when he found out that actor Peter Graves, made famous for portraying Jim Phelps in Mission: Impossible from 1967 to 1973, was his neighbor.
Once Barry found out that he had a television star lurking in his neighborhood, he suddenly had a new idol to look up to. Williams approached Graves and asked him for advice about getting into show business. Well, Graves really didn’t know how to reply to that inquiry. His success was attributed mostly to luck and being in the right place at the right time. He did however tell young Williams that acting was something that he always thought of doing when he was younger. The best advice he had to give the aspiring ctor was to be patient and stay focused.
Why Johnny Can’t Read
Barry was just 11 years old when he landed his first role. It was nothing fancy but it was a start, and sometimes that’s the best thing a hopeful actor can do to get their foot in the industry’s door. His first credit was in an educational film titled “Why Johnny Can’t Read”.
It was around this same like that Barry dropped his surname and started going by just Barry Williams. His parents hired an acting coach for him to hone his skills and he started taking scene study classes in Sherman Oaks. It was readily apparent that Williams was serious about his passion for acting.
Williams would continue to take courses where he learned various film and television techniques. Before he knew it he was starting to score regular work in commercials.
In 1967, with a little bit of Peter Graves’s help, Barry made his television debut in a special Christmas episode of Dragnet. In the next couple of years he would have guest roles in TV shows such as Run For Your Life, Here Comes The Brides, The Invaders, Gomer Pyle USMC, and Adam-12.
1969: A Defining Year
1969 was a pretty important year for a lot of people. Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon on July 20th, The Beatles played their last public show on the rooftop of Apple Records on January 30th, oh yeah and there was this little music festival called Woodstock in August that attracted an audience of approximately 500,000 people. All in all, it was a pretty groovy year.
Barry Williams had extra reason for digging 1969 when he was cast as Greg Brady in the Brady Bunch. That same year he appeared in the made-for-TV film A Very Brady Christmas alongside co-stars Robert Reed, Ann B. Davis, Florence Henderson, Susan Olsen, Christopher Knight, and everyone else.
Greg was the oldest of the Brady Kids and quite possibly one of the coolest cats to ever attend Westdale High School. The Brady Kids all got together and recorded a Christmas album that was released in 1970.
Merry Christmas From The Brady Bunch enlisted the singing voices of Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland, and Susan Olsen. Unfortunately, the album’s sales figures were pretty dismal and critics didn’t have anything nice to say about the release either. Some even nicknamed the album ‘The Six Kids Who Couldn’t Sing’.
Rolling With The Punches
Williams wasn’t about to let a little bit of criticism stop him in his tracks. Instead of dwelling upon the negative feedback and letting it get him down, he used it as motivation to improve instead. He went out and took some singing lessons and even released a single called “Sweet Sweetheart”. He really wanted to release his own solo album at that time but his producers advised him to wait for his moment to shine seeing as he was still making records with the other Brady kids.
Williams and the rest of his Brady siblings went on to record three more albums together and even embarked on a summer tour together in 1971. In 1972 they also got their own animated TV series called The Brady Kids which showcased several of their songs. When The Brady Bunch wrapped up in 1974, Williams switched his focus from his acting to his musical career and started performing his own solo concerts. He also started taking on roles in musical theater productions.
Williams was a charming young man, with a pleasant personality and an agreeable voice. He had very little trouble attracting women his way but he wasn’t looking for just a casual hook-up. Barry had his heart set on finding love. One of the first people to really catch William’s eye was Diane Martin. Granted not much is known about her. Apparently, she was involved in the music industry in some shape or form but generally speaking she has done a decent job at avoiding media attention over the years.
Diane and Barry exchanged wedding vows in July of 1990. Apparently, their marriage started off rather blissful. There were no reports of any drama or troubles between the two but in 1992, just two years after tying the knot, the couple decided to call it quits. In case you were wondering, no, they didn’t have any children with each other.
Like we already touched on, the couple kept most of their private life, well….private. So theirs very little that we know about what went wrong in their relationship that resulted in their split. We can assume however that all that comes with fame and demanding schedules might have had something to do with the decline of their romantic relationship. Diane completely dropped out of the spotlight after splitting with Williams. Perhaps she had a disdain for being in the public’s lens because to this day she doesn’t have so much as a social media account. Hopefully, she’s alive and well and enjoying a peaceful life out of the media’s gaze.
By the way, if you’re enjoying this video so far make sure you give it a like and subscribe to our channel.
And you’ll want to watch the whole video to learn all about William’s second and third wives and his two children. We’re also about to check in and see what ol’ Barry is up to these days.
Second Times The Charm?
After Barry and Diane called it quits, he decided that he hadn’t yet given up on love. He and Ella Mary Matt, a successful southern Californian banker, got married in 1999 and had a baby boy that they named Brandon Eric Williams. Even after having a child and starting to form a little family unit, things didn’t work out in the ‘happily ever after’ sense. The couple filed for divorce in 2005.
William’s Second Child
Not long after Barry and Ella’s untimely split, William’s met and started dating Elizabeth Kennedy. In 2012, she gave birth to a daughter named Samantha Rose Williams. Elizabeth was 33 years old when she gave birth to the little girl and she couldn’t have been more thrilled to welcome her into the world. Her father, however, was reportedly a lot less excited about having another child.
After Elizabeth and Williams split in 2013, she revealed that Barry had accused her of getting pregnant on purpose to entrap him in some kind of way. Of course, she explained to him that that wasn’t how things happened. One only wonders what their daughter will think about her Dad’s lack of excitement about her birth when she’s old enough to comprehend what that means.
Court Cases And Canceled Shows
Little Samantha was a preemie baby and thus her birth and subsequent medical care was quite costly. Elizabeth Kennedy fell into millions of dollars of debt while trying to pay for her child’s health care. She even found herself homeless around this time.
She did the only thing that she could at the time by taking Barry to court. She asserted that he wasn’t pulling his own weight in raising their daughter. Williams was spending most of his time in Missouri at the time while working on his reality TV series.
When Elizabeth filed the case against him, the resulting chaos led to his show being canceled. Williams fired back by requesting that a California judge impose restrictions on her talking about him to the media. He also requested that he be allowed to have visitation with his daughter at his Missouri home but Kennedy refused to agree to it. Little Samantha is eight years old now and is living a private life away from the public light.
William’s Third Marriage
In 2017 Barry Williams got married for the third time to his long-time girlfriend Tina Mahina. Williams was 62 and Mahina was 50 when they tied the knot, but even a 12 year age difference wasn’t enough to keep the two apart. If Instagram posts are anyway to judge a relationship by, then they seem to be having a relatively blissful union. Williams is constantly doting on his wife and taking her out to fancy restaurants and exotic locales.
Always a Brady
Even though it’s been decades since The Brady Bunch aired its series finale, Williams still gets asked about his Greg years and he’s more than happy to indulge his fan’s curiosity about that defining chapter of his life.
Over the years, he’s reprised his role for the various Brady reunion specials. In 2019, he reunited with six of the surviving Brady Bunch cast members to appear on HGTVs A Very Brady Renovation – a mini-series that documented the renovation of the original Brady home in Studio City, California.
That was the closest thing to a Brady reunion that fans have gotten since 2004. Would you watch another proper Brady reunion if one ever actually materialized or do you think that would be a bad idea? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
And before you go, make sure you give this video a like and subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already. Tap the bell icon to turn on notifications so you can keep up with all of our latest content.