TABLE ROCK LAKE, Mo. - One of the biggest names in TV sitcom history left Hollywood behind and now lives in Missouri.
Barry Williams, best known to television audiences as Greg Brady, first visited the Ozarks a few years ago and decided this is where he wanted to live. He spent the past six years performing the 70s Music Celebration on the Branson Strip, but is now looking forward to new adventures in his adopted hometown.
Williams now owns a home along Table Rock Lake with his wife. He said the Ozark Mountains are something he has been looking for his entire life.
"I grew up in Los Angeles," Williams said. "But I toured and traveled and been on the road probably most of my life."
Williams said he was looking for a place where he could perform a live variety musical show, but also had to be a place where he felt comfortable.
"It's a welcome change and it's one that comes at a good time in life when I kind of want to take it a little bit easier and enjoy, smell the roses for instance," he said.
Williams not only fell in love with the scenic beauty but also with a woman who relocated to Branson 32 years ago. Tina Mahina is a local performer who visited Branson with her family and never went back home.
"I took one good look at the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake, and being in the entertainment community, I stayed," she said. "I didn't even go back home to get my things."
Now, she is married into a famous legacy.
"I did, of course, watch 'The Brady Bunch' and I thought it was pretty groovy," she said. "However, I must admit I did watch 'Gunsmoke' and 'Bonanza' a lot more. I was a big Hoss Cartwright fan."
When Williams stopped performing last year, he decided that he didn't really want to move. He's gotten involved in other business ventures that don't require him the region he loves.
Williams serves as a spokesperson for MeTV, which showcases classic TV shows. And he is involved in a local farming operation that produces and sells Wagyu Cattle, which are recognized as some of the highest quality beef on the market.
The former sitcom star still travels across the country with his band The Traveliers, which performs anything from 1920s standards to today's hits.
"People like to come and see and hear from the Greg Brady side, so we can perform for an hour or two and then he can do a Q&A and they can ask questions about 'The Brady Bunch,'" said Mahina-Williams.
One thing that remains the same is that Barry Williams is still recognized as Greg Brady, decades after the show came to an end. He said, for him, there is no negative to still being famous for his time as a child star.
"It doesn't surprise me that people would know me mostly from that. But the fact that I'm still recognized now, I don't think I look that much like I did when I was 17, so they must be keeping up with some of the things I'm doing currently as well," he said.
For now, the couple enjoys spending the bulk of their time on Table Rock Lake.
"…if I'm not working, I'm probably out on the lake reading, floating, water skiing, wakeboarding, swimming, whatever it is to do on the water," Williams said.
"Our biggest challenge is to try and figure out someplace we want to go on vacation when home is such a great place to live."
By John Brown