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8 times Robert Reed was not Mike Brady

Image: The Everett Collection

Most people know Robert Reed as Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch. And he was also Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, The Brady Girls Get Married, A Very Brady Christmas, The BradysThe Love Boat and Day by Day. Just like Dawn Wells and Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island, Reed stuck with the fatherly role his entire life. 

Despite the commitment, Reed considered himself a serious actor and initially didn't love the role that would come to define his career. However, out of devotion to the kids on the show, he stuck around and appeared in all the reboots. 

But just because Reed appeared on the feel-good sitcom for five seasons doesn't mean he wasn't a brilliant actor. In fact, Reed was a part of some of the most groundbreaking television shows, miniseries and movies of the 1960s and '70s.

Today would have been Reed's 84th birthday. We already know and love Mike Brady. To celebrate Reed's legacy, we're taking a look at other notable, diverse roles the skilled actor played throughout his distinguished career. 


Kenneth Preston - 'The Defenders'

Reed first came to prominence as Kenneth Preston on the 1961 courtroom drama The Defenders. The series featured Reed as a part of a father-and-son legal duo that specializes in defending unusual cases, including neo-Nazis, atheists and civil rights objectors. 

Image: CBS Television Distribution


Lt. Adam Tobias - 'Mannix'

At the same time Reed was appearing as Mike Brady on the family-friendly sitcom, he also had a recurring role on the hit detective series Mannix. From 1969–74, Lt. Adam Tobias assisted Joe Mannix with special cases, appearing in a total of 22 episodes. 

Image: CBS Television Distribution


Paul McIlvain - 'Pray for the Wildcats'

After The Brady Bunch wrapped, Reed made appearances in several successful TV movies and miniseries. One of the most notable ones was 1974's Pray for the Wildcats, which also starred William Shatner and Andy Griffith. Keeping with the tradition of wild television movies of the 1970s, this one was about a crazy business executive who chases his workers on dirt bikes through the desert, killing a young man along the way. 

Image: ABC


Dr. Pat Caddison - 'Medical Center'

Reed earned his first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his guest-starring part on Medical Center in 1975. Trying to distance himself from the wholesome and simple Mike Brady, Reed starred as Pat Caddison, a doctor who comes out as transgender. 

Image: Warner Bros. Television


Teddy Boylan - 'Rich Man, Poor Man'

Reed's second Primetime Emmy Award nomination came in 1976 from the seven-part miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man. It was another star-studded cast featuring Reed, who appeared alongside Peter Strauss, Nick Nolte, Susan Blakely and Ed Asner.

Image: Universal Television


Dr. William Reynolds - 'Roots'

As far as miniseries go, it doesn't get more acclaimed than the legendary 1976 drama Roots. Reed looks almost unrecognizable as Dr. William Reynolds, a slave owner who acquires Kunta Kinte.

Image: Warner Bros. Television 


Johnny Lubitch - 'The Boy in the Plastic Bubble'

In this unforgetable TV movie, Reed plays Johnny Lubitch, the father of a teenage boy who can't live with unfiltered air. Let's not forget that John Travolta and Diana Hyland, Reed's wife and son in the film, got together after meeting on the set of this film. 

Image: ABC


Dr. Adam Rose - 'Nurse'

Reed's last major role, outside of the various revivals of The Brady Bunch in the 1980s, was Dr. Adam Rose on Nurse in 1981(You can tell Reed enjoyed playing doctors on television.) Despite being lauded by critics, the medical drama only lasted two seasons.

Image: CBS Television Distribution

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