Maureen McCormick: from Brady Bunch to Brady Bride
Have you ever gone back to visit your old high school? So many feelings can come rushing back, all at once. Lots of positive ones, like nostalgia and wistfulness and pride might hit you first. But, there's also always the feeling of "Wow, it's so small," and the notion that you've outgrown your past. It's a weird, wonderful way to check in and see where you started and how far you've come.
It might not be exactly the same, but Maureen McCormick got to experience something similar in her professional career. For five whole, critical years of her early life, McCormick was Marcia on The Brady Bunch. Viewers watch McCormick grow up through her teenage years; she was 13 when the show began, and she was 18 in the final season. So, while there may not have been locker-lined hallways and teachers to revisit on the Brady set, the experience did line up really well with what we associate with one's "high school years."
So, what was it like for Marcia Marcia Marcia to return to her old stomping grounds? Maureen McCormick got the chance to feel those feelings when she returned for the spin-off sitcom The Brady Brides, which followed the TV reunion movie The Brady Girls Get Married. In Brides, McCormick and her co-star Eve Plumb return as Marcia and Jan Brady, respectively. Marcia and Jan buy houses with their new husbands buy a house where they can all live together. Predictably, zaniness ensues, as it turns out the Brady sisters have attracted very dissimilar mates. The husbands' Odd Couple dynamic was the impetus of many a story before the show was ultimately canceled 10 episodes in.
Importantly for everyone involved, there were seven Brady-less years between Bunch and Brides, and the principal cast was able to grow, both as people and as artists. "In those years," McCormick told the Austin American-Statesman, "I did a lot of heavy dramatic things on TV and in features." It was hard work making sure the world didn't only recognize her as Marcia Brady. Soon after The Brady Bunch ended, McCormick found work portraying a heroin addict in David Janssen's post-The Fugitive series Harry O. Other, similar roles followed.
"I played a whole series of runaways and drug addicts," said McCormick. "I kept doing it, even after I turned 20 because I always looked younger than I was, so I could play all those troubled teenager roles."
It was a relief, then, for McCormick to return to the lighthearted comedy audiences grew to love about the Brady family. Specifically, McCormick cited the more slapstick approach to comedy in The Brady Brides as something she enjoyed about the series. After testing her limits as an actress playing desperate women on the outskirts of society, it was a breath of fresh air to get to be Marcia Brady once again.
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