10 reasons Eve Plumb just might be the coolest member of The Brady Bunch

Eat your heart out, Marcia.

Image: The Everett Collection

It's not easy being the middle child. Constantly overlooked, constantly fighting for attention. Nobody embodied middle-child syndrome better on TV than Jan Brady. Not even Peter.

Greg might have been Johnny Bravo and Marcia (Marcia! Marcia!) might have snagged Davy Jones, but Jan was more rock 'n' roll than you know. Well, Eve Plumb was, to be clear.

Here are some fun facts you might not know about the Brady star!

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1. She was a savvy real estate mogul at the age of 11.

Margin! Margin! Margin! Sometimes things do go Jan Brady's way, especially when it comes to real estate profits. At the age of 11, child actress Plumb purchased a Malibu beach house for $55,350. The 1950s blue cottage sat at the south end of the exclusive Escondido Beach. After nearly half a century of ownership, Plumb sold the flat-roofed bungalow in June 2016 for $3.9 million — a little over 10 times its original value, adjusting for inflation.

Image: The Everett Collection

2. She was the first Brady kid to get a solo record deal.

The Brady Kids made their recorded singing debut as a group in 1970 with the holiday album Merry Christmas from the Brady Bunch. Maureen McCormick and Chris Knight would cut an album together in 1973. Barry Williams dropped a single titled "Sweet Sweetheart" in November 1971. Even Mike Lookinland served up a piece of bubblegum for Capitol Records in 1974 with "Love Doesn't Care Who's In It." In February 1971, Plumb beat them all to the solo punch (if not the charts) with "How Will It Be?" for RCA Records in February 1971. You can see her promoting the 45 here in Billboard with DJ Jim Lange. It also happened to be an original tune, unlike Barry's Goffin-King cover.

Image: Billboard

3. She gave up Jan to be Dawn.

The Brady Bunch Hour variety show will forever be associated with "Fake Jan," the substitute sibling (Geri Reischl). Eve Plumb famously did not reprise her role of Jan, though she was not against the idea. She agreed to do the Brady Bunch Variety Hour 1976 special but balked at the commitment to a full season. She was up for a few episodes, but when the network presented her with an all-or-nothing contract, she walked. Plumb had aspirations of being a more serious actress. She proved that — and shocked Brady diehards — with her title role as a prostitute in Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway. The made-for-TV movie featured the protopunk tune "Cherry Bomb" by the Runaways in the soundtrack and spawned a sequel, Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn.

Image: The Everett Collection

4. She made her big-screen debut in 'I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.'

In 1988, Keenen Ivory Wayans (and his Wayans brothers) spoofed the Seventies blaxploitation genre with I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. The comedy showcased loads of iconic Black talent from the past, including Clarence Williams III, best known as Linc from The Mod Squad. Plumb played his wife.

Image: MGM/UA

5. She was in Dick Tracy without actually being in Dick Tracy.

In 1967, William Dozier, creator of the camp classic Batman, looked to replicate his success with another comic hero — Dick Tracy. A pilot was made, but the show never made it to series. The opening credits introduced the cast, in cartoon and in-the-flesh form, including Eve Plumb as "Bonnie Braids." Her character did not appear in the pilot, however! She was clearly meant to show up in unrealized later episodes.

6. Her dad produced the 'Batman' theme.

We've mentioned Batman and music, so we must bring up her dad, Neely Plumb. The producer, sax player and composer produced loads of records, including singles by TV stars Carol Burnett and a very young Don Johnson. (Yes, he produced Eve's single, too.) He also produced the recording of Neal Hefti's "Batman Theme"!

Image: RCA

7. Her sister was in a bunch of cool stuff, too.

Plumb's older sis Flora was 14 years her elder. Eve eventually played a runaway in Dawn and Clarence Williams III's wife in Sucka — coincidentally, Flora was in the Mod Squad episode "Home Is the Streets." Flora also appeared in The Wild Wild West, Mannix, Marcus Welby, Lou Grant and Quincy. You can see her here in The Young Lawyers (1970). Sadly, she never popped up on The Brady Bunch.

Image: The Everett Collection

8. There was a '90s alternate rock band named after her.

Grunge-pop band Eve's Plumb released a couple of records for Sony in the early Nineties. Their first single, "Blue," was a picture disc with Jan Brady's face on the record. But the band is probably best remembered because lead singer Colleen Fitzpatrick went solo under the name Vitamin C and scored a platinum record in 1999 with "Graduation (Friends Forever)."

Image: Sony/550

9. Eve had a cool spoken-word record, too.

Back to Eve's musical career for a moment. Composer Pat Williams, who wrote the Streets of San Francisco theme song, made a record in 1974 called "California Love Story." The song featured a spoken word bit recited by Plumb. "A sweet Santa Ana wind is blowing along the road this afternoon," she reads. "I miss you, Billy." Take a listen.

Image: Capitol

10. She brought the Partridge and Brady families together in 'Little Women.'

Every generation has its adaptation of Little Women, from the Winona Ryder take in the Nineties to the recent Greta Gerwig spin. In 1978, a miniseries cast loads of beloved television talent. Plumb played the ill-fated Beth. Susan Dey was Jo March. That's right — Laurie Partridge and Jan Brady as sisters! William Schallert and William Shatner were in it, too!

Image: The Everett Collection

 
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SheriHeffner 1 day ago
I remember Little women and I have seen Dawn. I remember Eve on Fudge. It was a sitcom on Saturday Mornings on ABC in the 1990s. She played Mrs. Hatcher, mother of Fudge and Peter Hatcher. A series of books written by author Judy Blume. Her hair was cut short and colored brown.
daDoctah 6 days ago
I have a copy of one of Eve Plumb's singles as part of a collection of rare 45s called the Lost Jukebox collection. The song is "(Nicchi Sgnacchi Mucchi Mucchi) The Fortune Cookie Song".

In "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka", the Brady Bunch theme plays as background music in the scene that Eve appears in.
iloveoldtvshows 6 days ago
I bet metv won’t change to fall schedule until September 21
RichardPniewski 7 days ago
Between Beth in Little Women and her seriously touching performance in "Family Affair ," not to mention " Dawn, " I have to wonder if "Brady Bunch" didn't prevent her from becoming an acclaimed dramatic actress.
The Family Affair episode made me cry.
Jon 7 days ago
2) "How Will It Be?" has to be one of the most depressing songs sung by a child that I can recall. Another point between Eve & her dad's career: "Purple People-Eater", produced by Neely Plumb, was the #1 single on Billboard the week Eve was born.
7) According to IMDB, Flora Plumb died in 2018, RIP. Eve has another sister named Susan who appeared as a nun on THREE'S COMPANY. Eve herself played a novice nun on THE FACTS OF LIFE who was also Blair's cousin.
10) I loved that 1978 version of LITTLE WOMEN. It also included Robert Young as Grandfather Lawrence.
HerbF 7 days ago
You forgot another interesting fact, Eve actually did a fair amount of drama roles before on television BEFORE "The Brady Bunch" - which would explain why she did mostly drama after the series.
RedSamRackham HerbF 6 days ago
* Indeed she did a great dramatic performance on a Family Affair episode as a terminally ill child named Eve befriended by Buffy & Jody! saddest FA episode ever! ♣
UTZAAKE 7 days ago
Both Eve Plumb and Christopher Knight appear in the underrated 1997 surreal film Nowhere. Watch full movie on YouTube (subject to removal at any time): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkmwkbFCz9s.
AnnieM 7 days ago
I wish that MeTV would get the rights to air all of those 70's 'teensploitation' TV movies: "Dawn", "Sarah T - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic", "Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night", "Sooner or Later", et al. Sure, they weren't Shakespeare, but I'd still love to see them again.
Jcarba 7 days ago
Loved her in Dawn, perfect choice to showcase her range and acting abilities, supercool Jan, err Eve Plumb.
KathrynJordan 7 days ago
Cool facts about Jan. She was my favorite of the Brady girls. Greg was my favorite of the Brady boys. Jan always had a great sense of humor which reminded me of mine; I am the oldest in a family of two children. Jan was amazing to be able to purchase things at such as young age like a house at 11(with the help of her parents) and then be able to sell it for 3.6 million; that is amazing. Way to go, Jan!
I read that at one time both Barry and Chris had major crushes on her
Amalthea 7 days ago
She was hilarious as Mrs. Murdock in "Grease Live".
pattysdaughter 8 days ago
Very cool facts. She was always my fav on the Brady Bunch—I was a middle child of 7. Didn’t she also play the mom in Fudge on Nickelodeon tv? I kinda remember my kids watching that
Jon pattysdaughter 7 days ago
FUDGE was on ABC Saturday mornings originally, though it may have moved to Nick later. Eve did play the mom on the show.
* Also cool was that she refused to do that lame Brady Bunch Variety Hour being replaced by a fake Jan.
Wiseguy RedSamRackham 6 days ago
The article clearly states that she was open to the idea of doing the show and would have even did some of them if it hadn't been for the "Dawn" movie.
DawnGraham 8 days ago
I loved her in Dawn portrait of a teenage runaway. That movie, helped me to not runaway.
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