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‘A Very Brady Sequel’ Cast Then & Now: See Shelly Long, Christine Taylor and Other Stars of the Goofy and Charming 1996 Hit

Whatever happened to the big-screen Brady kids and their groovy parents (and don’t forget Alice!)?


Did 1995’s The Brady Bunch Movie really need a sequel? Sure, Jan, especially one that turned up the fun and loving spoofaliciousness of A Very Brady Sequel cast, the 1996 big-screen follow-up that saw the retro Bradys and their leisure suit-era retro ways running headfirst into ‘90s culture again and again.

The whole family returned in Sequel (which was quickly produced to capitalize on the surprise success of the first film), with the addition of a new character who claimed to be the man who would answer that big question The Brady Bunch TV series never answered: what exactly had happened to Carol Brady’s first husband?

MUST-READ: 12 ‘Brady Bunch’ Behind-the-Scenes Facts You Probably Never Knew

Toss in some cameos by RuPaul and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and A Very Brady Sequel was every bit as goofy and sincere and charming as the movie that spawned it! Here, we catch up with the Brady (movie) kids and their parents, then and now:

Gary Cole as Mike Brady: A Very Brady Sequel cast

Gary Cole
1996/2022 Pictures // Jon Kopaloff / Stringer / Getty

Before he played TV’s all-time greatest dad on the big screen in the A Very Brady Sequel cast, Cole did his best-known work on television, playing real-life Green Beret and doctor-turned-convicted murderer of his own family Jeffrey MacDonald in the classic 1984 NBC miniseries Fatal Vision.

He was also the star of the NBC drama Midnight Caller (1988-91), about a cop-turned-radio talk show host, and also the lead of the 1995-96 cult classic CBS horror series American Gothic, created by former teen idol Shaun Cassidy.

Then came the role of papa Brady in 1995’s The Brady Bunch Movie,  which lead to A Very Brady Sequel, and even a second sequel, the 2002 made-for-TV flick The Brady Bunch in the White House. But first, Cole had to win over Paramount executives who were skeptical the actor, known almost exclusively for intensely dramatic roles up to that point, could pull off a comedy. Their wish list of potential Mike candidates included Steve Guttenberg, Michael O’Keefe, and Barry Williams—yes, the original Greg Brady could have played Mike!—but Cole’s sincere, straightforward delivery of Mike’s endless fatherly wisdom won him the part.

Gary Cole sitting
Gary Cole in “Veep” (2017) Productions

MUST-READ: Robert Reed: 12 Little-Known Facts About the Star Who Played Mike On ‘The Brady Bunch’

And three movies worth of funny business made Cole as appreciated for his comedy as he had been for drama. He went on to star in another cult fave comedy movie with his role as the hated boss Bill Lumbergh in Office Space, followed by DodgeballPineapple ExpressBeavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe. Cole also had the lead role in a remake of the 1966 TV comedy Family AffairKim Possible, Family Guy, and played Hollywood agent Andrew Klein on Entourage.

The actor earned an Emmy nomination for his role as political strategist Kent Davison on Veep. Cole had recurring roles on The West WingDesperate HousewivesChuckThe Good WifeSuitsF Is for FamilyMercy Street and Mixed-ish. Since season 19 he has played Supervisory Special Agent Alden Parker on NCIS.

Shelley Long as Carol Brady

Shelley Long
1996/2017 Getty Images / Stringer / Getty // David Livingston / Contributor / Getty

Shelley Long’s comedy bona fides were well-established when she won the role of big-screen Carol Brady: she was one of the stars of NBC’s sitcom classic Cheers, on which she played iconic bar waitress Diane Chambers.

Long earned an Emmy and two Golden Globes for her work on Cheers, and she and co-star Ted Danson formed one of television’s all-time most fun will-they-or-won’t-they couples. That led to movie roles like Night ShiftOutrageous Fortune, and Irreconcilable Differences … and a couple of years after she left Cheers to spend more time with her daughter, The Brady Bunch Movie and its follow-ups.

MUST-READ: ‘Cheers’ Cast: 11 Wild Behind-the-Scenes Secrets Revealed

In A Very Brady Sequel, Carol’s well-ordered marriage and family life were rocked by a man claiming to be her first husband, returning from the dead, in a nod to The Brady Bunch TV series’ lack of clarity on whatever happened to Carol’s first spouse. PS—Long’s competition for the role of Carol included Patricia Heaton and Blair Brown.

Woman standing smiling
Shelley Long in “Modern Family” (2018) Levitan Productions

After her time in the Brady universe, Long appeared in films like Robert Altman’s Dr. T & the Women and the crime drama The Cleaner. She also guest-starred on TV series like 8 Simple RulesStrong MedicineJoan of ArcadiaYes, Dear, and Family Guy. Her most memorable recent post-Cheers and Brady movies role came, of course, in another beloved sitcom: she played the recurring role of DeDe Pritchett, ex-wife of Jay (Ed O’Neill) and mother of Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Claire (Julie Bowen) on Modern Family.

Christopher Daniel Barnes as Greg Brady: A Very Brady Sequel cast

Christopher Daniel Barnes
1996/2014 Pictures // Albert L. Ortega / Contributor

Former child model Christopher Daniel Barnes had switched his focus to acting and voice work in his teenage years, starring as the son of Starman (Robert Hays) in the 1986-87 ABC series. 

And, in one of his best-remembered performances before the Brady movies, he co-starred with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the 1988-89 NBC comedy Day by Day, as Ross, the teen son of a family running a daycare center in their house. In 1995 he won the role of Greg in The Brady Bunch Movie (beating out Paul Rudd, among others), and in this sequel, Greg and stepsister Marcia are grappling with some very unsibling-like romantic feelings for each other. In 1989, Barnes voiced Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid.

After his work in the Brady movies, Barnes co-starred with Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffin in the UPN sitcom Malcolm & Eddie, and guest-starred in series CluelessBeverly Hills 902107th HeavenJAGGirlfriends, and Touched by an Angel. Barnes has also focused on voice work, voicing Peter Parker and Spider-Man in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Electro in the Ultimate Spider-Manseries, and Scott Donovan in the video games Law & Order: Dead on the Money and Law & Order: Double or Nothing.

Christine Taylor as Marcia Brady

Christine Taylor
1996/2023 Pictures // Rob Kim / Stringer / Getty

Christine Taylor’s first major role was playing lifeguard Melody on the Nickelodeon TV series Hey Dude, while also guesting on series like DallasSaved by the BellLife Goes OnBlossom, and Caroline in the City. In 1995, she beat out Katherine Heigl and Danica McKellar for the role of iconic pop culture teen Marcia in The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel. In the second Brady flick, Marcia was not only dealing with a crush on her stepbrother, Greg, but the two were fighting about which one would get to move into the attic of casa Brady.

After her breakout performance as hair-flipping Marcia, Taylor had a role in an other fan favorite movie, The Wedding Singer, playing the randy cousin of Julia. She also co-starred with husband Ben Stiller on the big screen in ZoolanderDodgeballTropic Thunder, and Zoolander 2. She played Rachel’s bald romantic rival Bonnie on Friends, Jerry’s girlfriend who was too perfect on Seinfeld, and herself on Curb Your Enthusiasm. She also had recurring roles on Arrested DevelopmentBurning LoveSearch PartyInsatiable, and High Desert.

Paul Sutera as Peter Brady: A Very Brady Sequel cast

Paul Sutera
1996/ 2023 Getty Images / Stringer / Getty //

Paul Sutera had roles in the movies Problem Child 2 and Monkey Trouble before winning the role of Peter Brady (his competition included Joshua Jackson). In A Very Brady Sequel, Peter was worried about what his future career would be, and when Roy, the man claiming to be Carol’s first husband, shows up at the Brady house, Peter begins thinking about following in his adventurous footsteps.

Since his time in Brady world, Sutera guest starred in an episode of Felicity, and joined his Sequel co-stars on the aforementioned episode Wings, and he has had a thriving career behind the cameras. He’s been a producer on reality series Ice Road TruckersRoad RulesThe ChallengeThe MoleThe Marriage RefShark TankAx MenAnimal ER Live, and Naked and Afraid XL.

Jennifer Elise Cox as Jan Brady

Jennifer Elise Cox; a very brady sequel cast
1996/2018 Getty Images / Stringer / Getty // Michael Tullberg / Contributor / Getty

Jennifer Elise Cox is arguably the breakout star of the Brady movies, which is particularly impressive since they were her biggest roles to date when she was hired for them.

While trying to get more acting work, she worked at a Ben & Jerry’s scoop shop. But she brilliantly went deep on the satirical vibe of the movies, lovingly paying homage to the Bradys and the retro-meets-modern ‘90s surroundings the family found themselves in, while also acknowledging that drama mama Jan is more extra than we ever gave the character credit for.

MUST-READ: Jan Brady is Grown Up — You’ll Be Surprised By What Actress Eve Plumb is Doing Today

Post-Brady, it was clear a lot of casting agents had seen Cox’s work in the movies. In addition to playing a version of Jan Brady in guest appearances on Wings and Moesha, Cox starred in a Lifetime comedy series about a dating service called Lovespring International, a sketch comedy series called Hype, 10 Items or LessRita Rocks, Web Therapy, and Idiotsitter. She also made guest appearances on Murphy BrownCluelessWill & GraceSex and the CityThe ComebackPushing Daisies and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Jesse Lee Soffer as Bobby Brady: A Very Brady Sequel cast

Jesse Lee Soffer; a very brady sequel cast
1996/2018 Pictures // Jim Spellman / Contributor / Getty

Jesse Lee Soffer was is a former child actor who launched his career in a Kix cereal commercial at age 6, and co-starred in the comedy movie Matinee with John Goodman and Cathy Moriarty two years later. At 10-years-old, he beat out fellow child stars David Gallagher (7th Heaven) and Adam Wylie (Picket Fences) for the role of youngest Brady brother Bobby, who started a detective agency with sister Cindy so they could find her missing doll, in one of the many Brady movie storylines inspired by Brady Bunch TV episodes.

After playing Bobby in the first two Brady movies, Soffer had a recurring role on the Olsen twins comedy Two of a Kind, and a regular role on the soap opera Guiding Light, before landing a regular role on the soap As the World Turns, earning three Daytime Emmy nominations playing troubled teenager Will Munson.

That led to a starring role on the Fox drama The Mob Doctor, then a recurring role on NBC’s Chicago Fire as undercover cop Jay Halstead, who transferred to a new unit, and NBC’s new spin-off drama, Chicago P.D. He also played Halstead in a crossover appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and was recurring on the third series in producer Dick Wolf’s Chicago drama trilogy, Chicago Med

Olivia Hack as Cindy Brady

Olivia Hack; a very brady sequel cast
1996/2022 Getty Images / Stringer / Getty // Albert L. Ortega / Contributor / Getty

Olivia Hack started her career as a baby, appearing in commercials, and played Captain Picard’s daughter, Olivia, in Star Trek Generations, Her breakout role was as Cindy Brady, the youngest Brady, with those trademark curls and TV Cindy’s lisp. In A Very Brady Sequel, Cindy and Bobby not only found her missing Kitty-Carry-All, but they were the ones who unearthed the nefarious intentions of the man purporting to be Carol’s first husband.

After her critically-acclaimed role as Cindy, Hack made appearances on Wings (as Cindy Brady), Touches by an AngelParty of FiveTwo of a KindFreaks and Geeks and Cold Case. She also had recurring roles on the Lifetime drama Any Day Now and as one of Rory’s college roommates on Gilmore Girls. She is a busy voice work actress, too, providing voices for The Emperor’s New GrooveOpen Season 2, and Hey Arnold! The Movie on the big screen, and on TV: RugratsHey Arnold!BratzFamily Guy, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Henriette Mantel as Alice Nelson: A Very Brady Sequel cast

Henriette Mantel; a very brady sequel cast
1996/2006 Getty Images / Stringer / Getty // J. Vespa / Contributor / Getty

Henriette Mantel was born to play Alice, the woman who could do it all to keep the Brady household running: she is not only an actress, but she’s a writer, author, producer, and documentary filmmaker. She made a documentary about the career of political activist Ralph Nader, was a writer and producer on The Osbournes, a writer/producer on the Emmy-nominated Michael Moore docu-series, The Awful Truth, and won an Emmy as a writer for the game show Win Ben Stein’s Money. And then Mantel beat out Margo Martindale and Dana Ivey for the role of Alice in The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel, stealing  nearly every scene she was in with her cheeky randiness and double entendres in front of her clueless employers. 

Her performances in the Brady movies led to a lot more work. Mantel guest starred on RoswellWill & GraceThe Amanda ShowFriendsEverybody Loves RaymondSex and the CityLaw & Order, and Family Guy. She was an executive producer on PBS’ Independent Lens and a story producer on the TLC reality series What Not to Wear. And she was the original actress cast to play Meredith in The Office. She appears in the series pilot, which was filmed months before season one. When it came time to film the rest of the season, Mantel was no longer available, and Kate Flannery took over the role.

Tim Matheson as Roy Martin/Trevor Thomas

Tim Matheson; a very brady sequel cast
1996/2023 Getty Images / Stringer / Getty // Rebecca Sapp / Contributor / Getty

Tim Matheson, now 76, has been an actor since he was a teenager. He played Mike Harmon, a friend of Beaver Cleaver’s on Leave It to Beaver. He played oldest son, Mike, in the 1968 movie Yours, Mine and Ours, starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. He guest starred on Bonanza and My Three Sons. He had a breakout role as part of the ensemble cast that included John Belushi and Kevin Bacon, in 1978’s National Lampoon’s Animal House (and later bought National Lampoon magazine).

MUST-READ: ‘Animal House’ to ‘Virgin River,’ Tim Matheson Shares Secrets From 62-years in Hollywood

He was in the movie Fletch. And then he was cast as A Very Brady Sequel as Roy Martin, a man who claimed to be Carol’s presumed dead husband, who looked so different, he claimed, because an elephant had stepped on his face and he’d had plastic surgery to repair the damage. He was lying, of course; he just wanted the Bradys’ famous horse statue, that ugly knickknack that was actually worth $20 million.

two men standing
Tim Matheson and Milo Ventimiglia in “This is Us” (2019) Island Ave. Productions

Some of Matheson’s most celebrated work came after his run-in with the Bradys. He won two Emmy nominations for playing Vice President John Hoynes on The West Wing. And then he played John F. Kennedy in the TV biopic Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Martha Stewart’s ex-husband in the TV biopic Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart, and the titular POTUS in a critically acclaimed performance in the TV movie Killing Reagan.

He guest starred on EntourageWhite CollarCSI, and Quantum Leap, This Is UsThe Good Fight and The Goldbergs. He currently stars as Doc Mullins in the Netflix romantic drama Virgin River, and, with more than 70 years of Hollywood stories to tell, he is releasing his memoirs, Damn Glad to Meet You: My Seven Decades in the Hollywood Trenches, in November 2024.

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