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In the Brady Bunch (the TV show, not the film series), the title song establishes that the 6 new step-siblings are from Mike and Carol's former marriages (or partnerships).

What happened to Mike's former wife / partner?

What happened to Carol's former husband / partner?

Were these two others ever mentioned for any amount during any episodes, or if still alive, did they ever make any appearances or claims towards their children? I have never watched the pilot episode / first episode, so I do not know if that episode explains it.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Brady World FAQ explains:

We learn in the first episode that Mike's wife passed away. However, the absence of Carol's first husband remains a mystery. Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the show, wanted her to be divorced. The network wanted her to be a widow [and] thought being divorced was too risque for the times. The compromise was that it was never addressed one way or the other.

Another FAQ elaborates:

The only references to the boys' mother and the girls' father in the entire five-year run of the series occur briefly in the pilot (and first episode), "The Honeymoon." A single scene with Mike and Bobby suggests quite strongly that Mrs. Brady died, though neither character explicitly says so. A later scene with Mike and Carol only offers the vague suggestion of some previous trauma before Carol's marriage to Mike. She never refers directly to her former husband. [...] The characters' full names were never revealed.

Sherwood Schwartz [...] said that he always considered Carol divorced. Despite Schwartz's intentions, the series was described to the public as the marriage of a widow and widower. Consider this excerpt from the 1969 "Fall Preview" issue of TV Guide:

This season's widows-and-widowers epidemic reaches an inevitable climax in The Brady Bunch. Widow (Florence Henderson) marries widower (Robert Reed, late of The Defenders), and they live happily -- if frenetically -- ever after.

So officially, they both died.

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I'm a little curious what other shows made up an "epidemic"? – Michael Itzoe Aug 4 '14 at 15:25
@MichaelItzoe Good question. The Courtship of Eddie's Father debuted around that time, and Here's Lucy, The Doris Day Show, Julia and Mayberry R.F.D. debuted a year earlier; all of these shows are about widows and widowers, so perhaps that's what they meant. – Walt Aug 4 '14 at 16:17
The sarcasm of "inevitable climax" does imply that the other shows were about widows or widowers, so that totally makes sense. Way to go 1969, paving the way for internet snark everywhere! – JoshDM Aug 4 '14 at 17:46

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