Brady Bunch’s Sam the butcher – Allan Melvin

Being a fan of the Brady Bunch TV show, I remember watching as their maid, Alice, would go out on her off nights with Sam the butcher. Sam became a regular on the series.  When the TV show stopped we did see a few Brady Bunch movies where the girls all get married. In it we learn that Alice did land that man of her dreams. I often wondered what the marriage for that looked like. Would it have been in a bowling alley?

The actor who played Sam the butcher on the Brady Bunch was a jowly, happy actor named Allan Melvin.  Melvin played in over  130 different TV and movie production in his cast career.  He has taken that Final Taxi at the age of 84.

Allan Melvin  was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in New York City Melvin attended Columbia University.  After graduation he served with the United States Navy and married his wife, Amalia, in 1943. ( They were still married after 64 years.)

While working at a job in the sound effects department of NBC Radio, he did a nightclub act and appeared and won on the Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts radio show. While appearing on Broadway in Stalag 17, he got his break into television by getting the role of Cpl. Henshaw on the popular “The Phil Silvers Show” program.  TV fans of this era usually best remember his role as Henshaw, Sergeant Bilko’s right hand man on that show. “

Blessed with the face of a bloodhound, Melvin was also known for decades for his second banana and sidekick roles on live-action sitcoms.

In the 1960s, Melvin played Staff Sergeant Charley Hacker for four seasons on “Gomer Pyle, USMC.” He also made appearances as Rob Petrie’s old Army buddy, Sol Pomerantz, on the “Dick Van Dyke Show.” Fans of “ The Andy Griffith Show” will remember Melvin  in eight guest appearances in eight different roles.

He was also Archie Bunker’s friend and neighbor Barney Hefner on All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place and for 15 years he played Al the Plumber in the Liquid-Plumr commercials. Other credits action credits include “Route 66,” “Perry Mason,” “Lost in Space,”  and “With Six You Get Eggroll.”

He also provided the voices of cartoon character “Magilla Gorilla”, the lion Drooper on “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour,”  Bluto and Wimpy on “The All-New Popeye Hou” and  Sgt. Snorkel in several “Beetle Baily” cartoons. Other voice credits include “The Smurfs,” “Scooby Doo,” “The Flintstones” and “Hong Kong Phooey.”

Allan Melvin probably was best known in live action for his role as Sam Franklin on The Brady Bunch from 1970 to 1973. Franklin, a butcher and bowler, was the boyfriend of Brady family maid Alice Nelson, who was played by Ann B. Davis.

“I’ve enjoyed the stuff I’ve done,” he told People magazine in 1996, “but the one you’re getting paid for, that’s what you enjoy most.”

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3 Responses

  1. This guy was all OVER the place. I mostly remember the Brady Bunch scenes and Gomer Pyle…

    I never watched the Brady Bunch movies. Were those tv movies or in the theatre?

  2. How did I miss this? A familiar face indeed. And I had forgotten The Banana Splits, thanks for the memory.

  3. Allan Melvin passed away in 2008 and Ann B. Davis later joined him on June 1, 2014. Gone but definitely not forgotten!

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