The Juber Bunch
From creating legendary sitcoms to best-selling hip-hop, talent has been in the Juber family blood for three generations.
Written byDiane Haithman
In the 1960s, for most kids, the end of the school day signaled time to ride bikes, play hopscotch or get a jump on tomorrow’s spelling quiz. But life after school at Studio City’s Carpenter Avenue Elementary was much different for Hope Schwartz and friend Carrie Nodella. They would walk to CBS Studio Center to visit their TV producer fathers on the set.
Hope’s father, Sherwood Schwartz, was the creator/producer of Gilligan’s Island (1964-67). Burt Nodella was the producer of Get Smart (1965-70). “We would just walk down to the set and say, ‘OK, are we going to go to the island or off to KAOS?’” recalls Hope—now Hope Juber—referring to the goofy “international organization of evil” in Get Smart.
“We met at an improv club. She was waiting to meet a date. I took one look at her and the universe shifted.”
There were times when Hope, now a writer, performer and producer in her own right, tried to escape the long shadow of her father (he passed away in 2011) and his two iconic TV projects: Gilligan and The Brady Bunch (1969-74), which borrowed plenty of story lines from the real-life Schwartz bunch.
When she played the role of Greg’s girlfriend on Brady, Hope used the name Hope Sherwood and continued to use it during her writing career, which included collaborations with her father—a Brady-themed TV series and stage musical.
In marriage, she was drawn to another creative spirit—British-born musician Laurence Juber, best known as lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings. The Grammy winner has released 23 solo acoustic guitar albums, including the latest, Fingerboard Road. “We met at an improv club. She was waiting to meet a date. I took one look at her and the universe shifted,” remembers Laurence. The couple, who married 11 months later, have two children—both of whom inherited the “creative gene.”
Daughter Ilsey is 30. Valley residents may remember her as the free spirit with a guitar at Studio City’s Coffee Fix back in the early 2000s. After graduating from Oakwood School, she tried a year of college but felt stronger inclinations to work in the music industry. Originally Ilsey had her heart set on being a performer, but she started writing songs and much to her surprise, had one “put on hold” for Rihanna. “It never got recorded but it signaled to me that hey, maybe I have something here. And I started going down that lane and trying to be the best I possibly could be.” The rising star has since written songs for J. Lo, Beyonce, Pitbull, Robin Schulz and Shawn Mendes, to name a few.
Daughter Nico, 33, works in marketing for a software company but keeps the creative juices flowing with digital projects, including a scripted web series. With a friend, she is launching toughmamas.com, a website offering an at-home exercise regimen for busy moms like herself.
And for the past two summers, Hope’s comedy stage piece Without Annette, which fuses a scripted play with improv scenes, played at Sherman Oaks’ Whitefire Theatre. Some nights Laurence treated lucky patrons to an impromptu preshow concert.
Ilsey says she’s always been proud of the Gilligan-Brady connection. “It was this special thing that I had; I was a part of something that was bigger,” she muses. “When I talk about connecting with people and influencing people with my music, that’s what those shows did, they touched people in a certain way.”
In the center of Hope and Laurence’s living room stands the grand piano where Sherwood wrote (with collaborators) the memorable theme songs for Gilligan and Brady. She’s comfortable with that now, embracing her father’s legacy.
Still, Hope is proud to call Without Annette her own. “It had nothing to do with Brady. It had nothing to do with Gilligan,” she says. “If you are creative, you have to create. That’s all there is to it.”
Paying it forward.