Maureen McCormick: from Brady Bunch to Brady Bride

Here's what it was like becoming Marcia again.

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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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7 Comments

bradyguy 9 months ago
Hello MeTV Staff -

Corrections:

There were NOT "7 Brady-less years between Bunch and Brides...". There was The BB (Variety) Hour" - critically panned, but LOVED nonetheless by true BB fans..

Also, Marcia and Jan did not "buy houses with their new husbands"; they bought
A house. Looks like some mistakes in that sentence didn't get edited.

Still love you though, MeTV!!

Bradys and Love Boat forever!!!
Track36 10 months ago
This program our son loves !! It is a classic to watch !! Marcia, Marcia, Marcia who can forget that line? No one.
bradyguy Track36 9 months ago
Of course, you know that line was spoken only ONCE in the 5-year run of the show, right?

People want to believe it was a "catchphrase", but it wasn't...

Still others mistakenly believe it became a "thing" after the 1995 (just silly) The Brady Bunch Movie.

BUT, the real rise in the line's popularity should be traced to Saturday Night Live in 1992. New CM Melanie Hutsell appeared on Weekend Update as "Jan Brady" and complained about her sister. Hutsell would go on to do "Jan" three or four more times in her short stint on SNL...
Andybandit 10 months ago
Good for her, I am probably the only one who never saw the different Brady movies.
Runeshaper 10 months ago
It is definitely cool to retrace your old steps and stomping grounds. Good for Maureen!
Bapa1 10 months ago
"dynamic", "impetus" "many"? Those are some big words for a show that lasted 10 episodes. Actually never saw it, but it must have been terrible. (And before she did that show, there was that Brady variety hour, which also was terrible).

TheSentinel Bapa1 10 months ago
Yep, and though I never saw any of those shows (other than the Brady Brides' pilot TV movie, The Brady Girls Get Married), I'll remember those other Brady spinoff projects for what they had:

The Brady Bunch Variety Hour - Fake Jan
A Very Brady Christmas - Fake Cindy
The Bradys - Fake Marcia
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