Ann B. Davis, the wisecracking housekeeper of TV’s Brady Bunch, has joined a new bunch—a religious commune in Denver. At 51, Davis, who also played Schultzy on the ’50s Bob Cummings Show, gets her Rocky Mountain highs with 6:30 a.m. Bible study. “I was tired of show business—tired of running around with my head cut off,” she says. Born an Episcopalian, Davis practiced her faith but “with little understanding of it.” She often found herself alone with a drink after a hard day of rehearsing or during layoffs between series.
In 1974 when she was playing summer stock in Denver she met Episcopal Bishop William C. Frey and his family, who were planning to bring together several families under one Christian roof. “I decided to sell my house in L.A. and yield control to the Lord,” the unmarried Davis says. She and 19 others, aged 3 months to 69 years, now occupy a remodeled Victorian home.
Most of her belongings—except a 914 Porsche—are being used by a second household in her religious community. The two Emmys for Schultzy and an embossed director’s chair are kept in her house as reminders of stardom. She flies to California to tape occasional Brady Bunch specials and Miracle White commercials, but no longer appears onstage. In Denver she helps pay expenses and does her share of chores—cleaning the library this month.
Davis made her debut as a child at the Erie (Pa.) Playhouse, graduated in 1948 from the University of Michigan and was spotted for the Schultzy role while playing theaters and clubs in California. A year ago Davis delivered a series of talks describing her rebirth to youth and women’s groups, then stopped. “The Lord,” she says with a grin, “wanted me to keep my mouth shut for a while.” Reinspired, she resumes her speaking tour this fall.