Actor Christopher Knight was born in New York City on November 7, 1957. He started auditioning at age 7 and almost immediately landed spots on commercials and TV shows. In 1969 he took the role of Peter Brady on The Brady Bunch. In 1988, he suddenly left acting to pursue a business career in the computer industry. More recently, he returned to the entertainment industry as a reality TV star.
Christopher Anton Knight was born on November 7, 1957, in New York City, the second of four children (three boys and one girl). His father, Edward Knight, was a struggling actor who moved the family to Los Angeles when Knight was only 3 years old.
With his father struggling to make ends meet as an actor, Christopher Knight began auditioning for parts at the age of 7 in hopes of earning money to save for college. He became successful as a child actor almost immediately, landing spots on commercials for Tide, Toyota and Cheerios, as well as guest spots on the television shows Gunsmoke and Mannix. However, Knight saw in his father the risks of pursuing an acting career. He recalls, "My dad was an actor, and a struggling one at that. I never really wanted to have the downside of that life, and so I had a different view of dreams, being that they are not always necessarily positive."
Playing Peter Brady
Despite his reservations about acting, Knight continued auditioning and, in 1969, at the age of 11, he landed a role on the ABC show The Brady Bunch. The show revolves around a large blended family brought together by the marriage of Mike Brady, who has three sons, and Carol Brady, who has three daughters. Knight played the middle son, Peter Brady. While the show never received especially high ratings during its1969-1974 first run, its reruns found a huge audience in syndication and The Brady Bunch has since become one of the most enduring and popular shows in the history of American television. "The Bradys weren't cool," Knight says. "If there was any cool factor to them, they would have disappeared after they left the airwaves. It's because what we were doing was timeless, but at that period of time it wasn't appreciated as much. It's appreciated more so now and all the more as it continues to live and breathe in perpetuity."
Knight continued to attend Los Angeles public schools while starring in The Brady Bunch, often struggling to maintain a low profile and normal life. He remembers, "Here I am, a seventh grader, recognized, and it's the worst time in the world to have anyone's attention. By eighth grade, I wouldn't react to people teasing me. I would laugh with them, at myself." After The Brady Bunch went off the air in 1974, Knight left the world of show business and enrolled at UCLA. He said, "I lived in a dorm, joined a fraternity ... did the whole college thing!" But after two years, Knight dropped out of college and returned to acting. He landed minor television roles and starred in a host of Brady Bunch spin-offs and sequels including The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976), The Brady Girls Get Married (1981) and A Very Brady Christmas (1988).
In 1988, Knight embarked on a major career reversal when he suddenly left acting to pursue a business career in the computer industry. He got a job as an accountant sales manager for Martec, Inc. and landed that company's first million-dollar sales deal within his first 18 months on the job, earning him employee of the year honors. "I took to it," Knight says of his second career, "like a duck to water. It sort of was a passion of mine. I mean, I'm sort of a geek, really."
Building on his quick success at Martec, Knight went on to a long and successful business career. In 1989, he took up the post of Vice President of Design System Marketing and Sales at New Image Industry and in 1991 he co-founded Visual Software, a pioneering 3D graphics company. He founded Kidwise Learningware in 1995, a company that manufactures interactive educational products. Next, in 1996, he joined the keyboard manufacturer Adesso, and in 1997 he became Vice President of Marketing at TV software company IXmicro. He founded his own TV tuner company, Eskape Labs, in 1998, which was purchased by Hauppauge Computer Works in 2000.
More recently, Knight has returned to the entertainment industry as a reality TV star. In 2005, Knight appeared on the reality TV show The Surreal Life, which follows the lives of a group of "has-been" celebrities living together under one roof. On the show, Knight met and fell in love with 2003 America's Next Top Model champion, Adrianne Knight. The couple then starred in their own spinoff reality show, My Fair Brady. Over its three seasons, My Fair Brady has chronicled Knight and Curry's courtship, their 2006 marriage, and their experiences as a newlywed couple.
A well-established and successful businessman, Knight is happy to be back in the entertainment industry on his own terms. "This is a great industry if you can treat it like a hobby," he says. However, more than 30 years after The Brady Bunch went off the air, Knight is still best remembered for his childhood role as Peter Brady. "For most people," he says, "Peter is the identity they know, and this thing doesn't die. And it probably won't." But while Knight strives to be known as more than just Peter Brady, he understands that there are benefits to his eternal Brady Bunch recognition. He says, "It's a blessing and a curse all rolled into one. It's the perfect balance."
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