Maureen McCormick was all over TV before joining The Brady Bunch
She sure had a lot of dolls on TV in the 1960s.
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Yes, Maureen McCormick will forever be best known as Marcia Brady. But the California native was practically a wisened veteran by the time she landed her iconic role on The Brady Bunch.
The onetime winner of the Baby Miss San Fernando Valley beauty pageant, young McCormick got her start in commercials, like so many stars. That led to a string of small roles on TV series throughout the Sixties.
Let's take a look back at young McCormick's career before she met Greg, Peter and Bobby.
1. Mattel commercials
Maureen McCormick made her TV debut in 1964, selling dolls for Mattel. The young actress first popped up pitching the line of "Chatty" dolls, including Chatty Cathy. Kids could slip a little record inside the doll's tummy to play a variety of sayings. Cartoon legend June Foray, best known as Rocky the Flying Squirrel, voiced the original Chatty Cathy launched in 1959. A decade later, in 1969, Mattel brought back the doll — and had Mauren McCormick provide the voice! She also popped up in Barbie ads for the toymaker.
Later that year, McCormick made an uncredited appearance as Samantha Stephens' daughter on Bewitched. No, not Tabitha. Her name was Little Endora. In "And Something Makes Three," Darrin has anxiety when he believes that Samantha is pregnant. He dreams of three impish children, all warlocks and witches. The bratty little boy calls Endora fat. She makes him disappear with a twitch of her nose.
Image: Screen Gems
3. Camp Runamuck
McCormick twice turned up on this camp sitcom. The most notable thing about her first appearance, in "Who Stole My Bathtub?", was another guest star in the episode, Frank De Vol. He would go on to write the theme song to The Brady Bunch! Hollywood is a small world. McCormick reprised her character, Maureen Sullivan, and got far more screen time later that season in "Tomboy." Her character rebelled against all the gendered activities of the camp and snuck over to be with the boys. Sounds a bit like "The Liberation of Marcia Brady," no?
Image: The Everett Collection
4. Honey West
Despite her charming performance as a tomboy, McCormick would be stereotyped as a girl with a baby doll. Hardly surprising back then. She played a spoiled rich girl in "In the Bag." Honey West (Anne Francis) must chaperone Ms. Margaret Mary Driscoll (McCormick) across the country on an airplane — and she loses the kid in a crowded airport.
5. I Dream of Jeannie
More dolls! In fact, loads of them! In "My Master, the Doctor," Tony ends up as a surgeon in a hospital after Jeannie grants him a wish. McCormick plays a young patient down the hall. Jeannie uses her powers to fill the sick child's bed with dolls.
Image: Screen Gems
6. My Three Sons
Oh no! Ernie (Barry Livingston) mistakenly invites two girls to the "Gym Dandy" school dance in "Ernie, the Bluebeard." They both show up to his house the night of the sock hop. What is a boy to do? Well, he has his brother take one. Ernie ends up going to McCormick's character, of course. Geez, seems innocent enough. Perhaps Bluebeard isn't the best analogy?