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Marcia! Marcia! Marcia! Eight Facts You Never Knew About Maureen McCormick

Entertainment | August 16, 2018

LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 9: Maureen McCormick as Marcia Brady in the BRADY BUNCH episode, 'The Subject Was Noses.' Original air date, February 9, 1973. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

In a departure from the traditional family structure represented on other TV shows, ABC debuted a new television series in 1969 about a blended family called The Brady Bunch. Cast in the role as the oldest daughter, Marcia Brady, was a then-13 year old American actress named Maureen McCormick. McCormick played the role of the perky and popular teen until the series ended in 1974, but she never quite left Marcia Brady behind. Although she may have played a wholesome goodie-goodie on TV, McCormick’s life has been a far cry from the carefree character she portrayed. Here are eight facts you never knew about Maureen McCormick.

McCormick Was a Child Beauty Pageant Winner

Maureen McCormick was born in Encino, California, the only daughter and the youngest of four children born to Irene and William McCormick. When she was just six years old, McCormick’s mother entered her in the Baby Miss San Fernando Valley pageant. The blonde beauty won to the title. 

Yes, Marcia Really Did Date Greg

Maureen McCormick and her co-star, Barry Williams, who played the step-brother, Greg, to McCormick’s Marcia, were teens when The Brady Bunch was filming. The two began a flirting friendship. When The Brady Bunch cast and crew traveled to Hawaii to film a special episode, things got steamy in paradise. In McCormick’s memoir book, Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, she recalled that she and Williams shared their first kiss in Hawaii. As she was kissing him, McCormick said that it immediately popped into her mind, “Oh my God! I’m kissing my brother. What am I doing?” That didn’t stop her from sleeping with Williams, and the two dated on and off. 

McCormick Could Have Been in an Indiana Jones Movie, But She Was On Cocaine at the Audition

Maureen McCormick battled drug addiction for many years following the cancellation of The Brady Bunch. In 1981, she landed an audition with Steven Spielberg for a role in his film. The Raiders of the Lost Ark. The part could have helped restart her lagging acting career. Unfortunately, McCormick showed up to the audition strung out on cocaine. She had not slept in three days. The part McCormick was auditioning for eventually went to Karen Allen and McCormick’s reputation as a professional took a severe hit. 

McCormick Swapped Sex for Drugs

The Brady Bunch ended with McCormick was just 18 years old. The cancellation of her popular show caused a void in McCormick’s life that she filled with drugs and alcohol. She quickly became addicted to cocaine and Quaaludes. McCormick later confessed that, when money was tight, she would have sex with drug dealers in exchange for drugs. She even claims that she had two abortions when she was in her early twenties. 

Maureen McCormick Tried Singing

As Marcia Brady, McCormick did her share of singing on TV. She, along with the rest of the Brady Bunch kids, released four albums and went on tour in the early seventies. In 1972, however, McCormick recorded her first solo singles, a song called “Teeny Weeny Bit Too Much” and “Truckin’ Back to You”. The next year, she joined Christopher Knight, her Brady Bunch co-star who played Marcia Brady’s step-brother, Peter, on an album called “Chris Knight and Maureen McCormick”. This album included duets between the two, as well as solos of both of them. Her performed her single, “Little Bird” on TV’s American Bandstand led host Dick Clark to tell her she should follow her musical dreams. 

McCormick Was the Voice of Chatty Cathy

When she was just starting out in the business, Maureen McCormick landed some roles in television commercials. One of the first was in 1964, when the then 8-year old appeared in Mattel spots for Chatty Cathy dolls. Later, in 1970, when Mattel redesigned the Chatty Cathy doll, they looked to McCormick, one of their more popular alums, to provide the voice for the talkative doll. Thanks to the popularity of The Brady Bunch, McCormick’s celebrity helped spur sales of the doll. 

McCormick Lives in Fear of Contracting Syphilis

According to her biography, Maureen McCormick was justifiably fearful of getting syphilis. Her grandfather contracted syphilis from prostitutes when he was fighting in Europe during World War I. He brought the disease back to his wife, McCormick’s grandmother, who eventually died from syphilis while in a mental hospital. McCormick’s mother was infected in the womb. And McCormick was so fearful that she, too, would get the deadly STD that, when she needed to cry on scene, she thought about catching syphilis. 

Maureen McCormick’s Husband Had Never Seen The Brady Bunch

By the 1980s, McCormick was trying to get her life back in order, though she still had bouts of depression and paranoia. She met Michael Cummings at church and the two fell in love. Cummings confessed to McCormick that, although he had heard about The Brady Bunch before, he had never watched a single episode. McCormick was thrilled; it allowed them to begin a relationship without any pre-conceived Marcia Brady associations. The couple married on March 16, 1985, and has one child, Natalie, who was born in 1989. 

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Karen Harris

Writer

Karen left the world of academic, quitting her job as a college professor to write full-time. She spends her days with her firefighter husband and four daughters on a hobby farm with an assortment of animals, including a goat named Atticus, a turkey named Gravy, and a chicken named Chickaletta.