Ann B. Davis, best known for her role as Alice Nelson — the plucky housekeeper on The Brady Bunch — died Sunday at the age of 88. A close friend, Episcopalian Bishop William Frey, delivered the news. Davis had been living in an Episcopalian community (non-cloistered) led by Bishop Frey near Denver, Colorado, according to her Facebook page.
According to Bishop Frey, Ann B. Davis smacked her head in the bathroom and lost consciousness. A CNN Report says that Davis suffered a subdural hematoma. Ann never regained consciousness.
Ann B. Davis played a major part not only in playing, but also in developing, much of the role of Alice from The Brady Bunch. According to an interview in the Archive of American Television, Ann B. Davis described her role in developing Alice from The Brady Bunch like this:
“I made up a background story. I did have a twin sister, so I used that as a basis. I cared very much about this family. It was my family. It was close to my family as Alice would ever get. I would have died for any single one of them at any point. You know, they wrote me such gorgeous things to do, as the intermediary between the kids and the adults, and between the boys and the girls. And they gave me funny things to do.”
In the same interview, Ann B. Davis indicated that she wasn’t nearly as good with kids – or domestic work. She hates to cook. According to a CNN report, when it was her turn to cook in the Episcopal community in which she lived, the house went out to eat instead.
While most people remember her best from her role as Alice in the highly syndicated Brady Bunch, Ann B. Davis actually had a long and varied acting career that began in the 1950s and continued long after The Brady Bunch stopped airing new episodes in 1974. She got her initial big break on The Bob Cummings Show in the ’50s. She has also acted in movies and live theatre.
Davis retired (mostly) in the late 1970s to focus on communal living. She once told People magazine:
“I’m convinced we all have a God-shaped space in us, and until we fill that space with God, we’ll never know what it is to be whole.”
Bishop Frey had this to say of Ann B. Davis, whom he had known for 38 years:
“What you see (in Alice) on ‘The Brady Bunch’ was who she was. She (Ann B. Davis) was a very faithful Christian person.”
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