Mystery: Where, O Where is Mike Brady?
There's still a fortune being made by licensing merchandise based on the 1969-74 sitcom "The Brady Bunch," which is now a staple on Nick at Night. But, reports The Washington Post in an exhaustive investigation appearing in Thursday's edition, on official "Brady" 2002 calendars, lunchboxes, T-shirts and other items tied into the old show about a family given to expressions like "groovy," nowhere does the image of paterfamilias Mike Brady, played by the late actor Robert Reed, appear. He's completely missing. Calls placed by The Post to a vice president at Viacom Consumer Products/Paramount Pictures to get to the bottom of this conundrum yielded only a "no comment" -- and a firm "no comment," at that, The Post noted -- suggesting that perhaps the vice president found the question silly to begin with. Reed, who died in 1992 at the age of 59 from complications arising from AIDS, was depicted as a difficult working colleague by some of his "Brady" costars on a recent A&E "Biography" about him. He took his acting seriously, and felt that the role of Mike Brady was beneath him, they said. He was also an uptight gay man deeply buried in the sexual closet and finicky when it came to letting people into his carefully decorated house, though he could also be generous -- and, acting out a Mike Brady fantasy, once took the entire cast of kids on the show to Europe, the "Biography" show revealed. Still, why the Reed blackout on the "Brady" products? The Post can only speculate that Reed, or the heirs to his estate (Reed had a daughter, Karen Baldwin, from an early marriage), are not permitting his likeness to be used. Speaking for the daughter and her son, attorney Cary S. Fleischer told the paper, "They're happy the Brady show is played and replayed, and sometimes, when someone wants to use his image for a charitable purpose, we say fine. But we take this very seriously."
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