Today quite a few people are going to feel like a warm part of their childhood has died. Ann B. Davis, who played Alice on the hit series The Brady Bunch, died at age 88 after a fall at her home in Texas. The show ran from 1969 to 1974, but lived on in repeats, making it virtually a staple of the childhood of anyone over 40. While the blended (for the time) family was the one everyone wished they could have -- it was the straight-talking character of housekeeper Alice who gave the family that extra-added bit of humor and kick. Here are five of Alice's most awesome moments.
1. Porkchops & Applesauce. Alice was the one the kids turned to when their parents, Mike and Carol, didn't quite get it. Take this scene where middle child Peter decides he doesn't have a personality, so he needs to speak like Humphrey Bogart. While Mike and Carol snigger at him (nicely, of course), Alice doesn't judge him at all. In fact, she joins in:
2. Alice threatens to leave. Clearly feeling a bit pushed out of the family with the arrival of Mike's new wife, Carol, Alice makes up a story about a sick aunt who needs her so she can leave. Of course, she doesn't.
3. Alice gets wrapped up. Alice could always be counted on to be there when the kids needed a guinea pig. Here Jan and Marcia wrap her up in gauze for some reason. (Check out that '70s style!) Ann's comedic timing is impeccable in this one.
4. Alice gets dunked. Could always count on Alice to lighten up a serious moment. Far out, Alice!
5. Alice getting married. Here, the family suspect that Alice and her boyfriend, butcher Sam, are going to get married. (And want to do it secretly, for some reason.) While the pair never got married in the original show, they popped up married in a later special.
Watching these clips made me remember what was so appealing about the show: It was surreal in its perfection while somehow was never totally sugary. While mom and dad were always loving and affectionate and no one ever resented their tradition-based roles, the kids were well-behaved even in their most mischievous moments. Problems were never more serious than one child longing for more attention -- but there was a glint of real life in there somewhere. Maybe you could tell that, behind the scenes, things were more complex than the show would allow. And the show certainly wouldn't have been the same without Alice.
Did you watch The Brady Bunch?
Image via CBS/YouTube