Tam Spiva

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hubert Tamblyn "Tam" Spiva, Jr.
Born (1932-06-18) June 18, 1932 (age 85)
Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died April 30, 2017 (aged 84)
Residence Pacific Palisades, California
Alma mater

Western Military Academy

Northwestern University
Occupation Television and film screenwriter

(1) Martha Brown
(2) Laura Lee Dulberger

(3) Phyllis Ellen Spiva
Children Four children
Parent(s) Hubert, Sr., and Lilla Ellenor Stewart Spiva

William G. Stewart (great-uncle)

E. L. Stewart (great-uncle)
Spiva's parents came from a newspaper background, but he ventured into Hollywood script writing, particularly The Brady Bunch and Gentle Ben

Hubert Tamblyn Spiva, Jr., known as Tam Spiva (June 18, 1932-April 30, 2017)[1], was an American television screenwriter from Pacific Palisades, California, who was best known for his work on ABC's The Brady Bunch situation comedy (1969–1974), starring Florence Henderson and Robert Reed,[2] and CBS's family drama Gentle Ben (1967–1969) starring Dennis Weaver and Clint Howard.[3][4]


Originally from the small city of Minden in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, Spiva was the son of Hubert Spiva, Sr. (1899-1939), a former foreign correspondent, and the former Lilla Ellenor Stewart (1906–1959), who married in 1929. They operated the Webster Printing Company and the former The Minden Herald and The Webster Review newspapers, forerunners of the Minden Press-Herald. Lilla Spiva, a scion of a prominent Webster Parish family, was a daughter of Minden attorney Daniel Webster Stewart, Sr. (1857-1935), and his wife, the former Alice Leona Reagan (1871-1954).[5] She was a niece of William Green Stewart, a farmer and a former president of the Webster Parish School Board, for whom the since defunct William G. Stewart Elementary School in Minden is named. Another uncle, E. L. Stewart, was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives at the time of her birth.[6] Known as "Babe", Lilla Spiva managed the papers after her husband's death at the age of forty[7] and was herself publisher and society editor of the Minden Herald and a member of the Louisiana Press Association.[8] On January 23, 1960, the press association posthumously honored her for her journalistic accomplishments.[9]Hubert Spiva is interred at Mount Hope Cemetery in Webb City in Jasper County in southwestern Missouri.[10] Lilla is interred with other Stewart relatives at the historic Minden Cemetery.[6] Spiva's aunt, Lilla's sister, was Mary Amanda Stewart (1903–1994), whom he visited in the Stewart home, later the Farley home, when he returned to his hometown.[11]

Tam Spiva was first married to the former Martha Emily Farrow Brown, and the couple had a daughter, Alizon Farrow Spiva. He then wed the former Laura Lee Dulberger, and the couple had a daughter, Mary Amanda, and a son, Reagan Anthony. He now lives with his third wife, Phyllis Ellen Spiva, and stepdaughter, Danielle. There are hence four living Spiva children, including Danielle.

The family home in which Tam Spiva grew up in Minden, Louisiana, is located at the intersection of East and West/Elm streets near the Webster Parish Library


Spiva graduated from the defunct Western Military Academy in Alton in Madison County in western Illinois, near St. Louis and then Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, near Chicago. He also studied at the London School of Film Technique. His early free-lance writing was rewarded in the script for the 1965 film Island of the Lost. In addition to The Brady Bunch and Gentle Ben, Spiva garnered credits for two other ABC series, The FBI starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Dan August starring Burt Reynolds.[12]

Here is a list of programs written by Spiva for The Brady Bunch:

  • "Peter and the Wolf"
  • "Tiki Caves"
  • "Pass the Tabu"
  • "A Fistful of Reasons"
  • "The Slumber Caper"
  • "Grand Canyon or Bust"
  • "The Brady Braves"
  • "Hawaii Bound"
  • "The Big Sprain"

and for Gentle Ben:

  • "Jennifer"
  • "Mama Jolie"
  • "The Wayward Bear, Part 1"
  • "The Wayward Bear, Part 2"
  • "Fire in the Glades"[13]


  1. ^ birth ref check per intelius.com
  2. ^ Hill, Tony L. "The Canonical Brady Bunch Episode Guide". Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  3. ^ TV.com, Tam Spiva:http://www.tv.com/tam-spiva/person/4964/appearances.html
  4. ^ "Tam Spiva was a TV writer from the last golden age". 9 May 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017 – via LA Times. 
  5. ^ "Services for D. W. Stewart Held April 26: Oldest Memberr of Webster Parish Bar Succumbs to Pneumonia". Minden, Louisiana: The Signal-Tribune & The Springhill Journal. April 30, 1935. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Lilla Ellenor Stewart Spiva". findagrave.com. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Last rites held today for Mrs. Lilla Spiva", Minden Press, March 23, 1959, p. 1
  8. ^ Agan, John (2007). "MPH story goes back more than 150 years". Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  9. ^ Minden Press, February 1, 1960, p. 1
  10. ^ "Hubert Tamblyn Spiva". findagrave.com. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  11. ^ Gritzbaugh, Sherry. "Residential/Homes (A-L)". Memories of Minden. Retrieved October 5, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Brady Bunch Writer in Minden This Week". Minden Press-Herald. 1970-03-25. p. 1. 
  13. ^ TV.com, Tam Spiva appearances: http://www.tv.com/tam-spiva/person/4964/appearances.html

External links[edit]