Susan Olsen learned to love Cindy Brady
Beginning your acting career as a child can definitely have its perks. According to an article in The Charlotte Observer, Ron Howard was quite a celebrity at his high school. Still, sometimes having the spotlight on you at such a young age can prove to have the opposite effect.
Susan Olsen, best known for playing Cindy Brady, said that playing the character gave her a bit of grief during her time at school. Specifically, she cited the episode where her character was teased over her lisp. She spoke to The Age and said, "That episode got me more teased at my real school because the lisp was real. I had extensive oral surgery as a child. My tongue is too big for my mouth."
Olsen also said that her Cindy persona shadowed her acting career, making it difficult to find roles. She spoke to the Houston Chronicle and said, "It seemed all I could get was a warmed-over Love Boat career or some version of Cindy as a grown-up."
She was even more frank and said, "I never liked her [Cindy] very much in the first place. And then the industry put this Cindy stigma on me."
Like any show, The Brady Bunch fell in and out of popularity with the public as the years went on, somehow seemingly too juvenile for adults but too "lame" for their children. However, by the 1990s, the series was enjoying a resurgence of fame as a newer generation began to discover and fall in love with the Brady family.
In the same interview, Olsen said, "Ten years ago, the Bradys weren't cool, and I fully understand why. The scripts were crummy and you couldn't take it seriously." However, the love between the Bradys was what kept fans coming back to the series, and enthralled new viewers. It's a love, Olsen said, that goes beyond just the screen. She said, "We were a lot like a real family. In fact, it was even better, because we didn't go home together and fight over the bathroom."
Ultimately, Olsen has learned to embrace her Cindy-ness, as well as the journey it took to get there. She commented, "You hear what it was like for child stars, and a lot of people have very valid complaints. But for us, it was a good experience."
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