Open main menu

Maureen McCormick

Maureen Denise McCormick (born August 5, 1956) is an American actress, singer and author. She portrayed Marcia Brady on the ABC television sitcom The Brady Bunch, which ran from 1969 to 1974 and reprised the role in several of the numerous Brady Bunch spin-offs and films, including The Brady Kids, The Brady Bunch Hour, The Brady Brides and A Very Brady Christmas (1988). McCormick also appeared in The Idolmaker (1980) as well as a wide range of other supporting film roles. In the 1980s and 1990s, she ventured into stage acting, appearing in a variety of different roles and productions such as Wendy Darling in Peter Pan and Betty Rizzo in Grease. McCormick also had a brief career as a recording artist, releasing four studio albums with the Brady Bunch cast as well as touring with them. Her only release as a solo artist to date is a country music album, When You Get a Little Lonely (1995).

Maureen McCormick
Maureen McCormick Maui crop.PNG
McCormick in 2009
Born
Maureen Denise McCormick

(1956-08-05) August 5, 1956 (age 63)
Occupation
  • Actress
  • singer
  • author
Years active1964–present
Known forportraying Marcia Brady in The Brady Bunch
Spouse(s)
Michael Cummings (m. 1985)
Children1

Despite professional success on The Brady Bunch and its spin-offs, McCormick struggled largely in her personal life in the years following the original series' end. Addictions to cocaine and quaaludes, as well as bouts of depression and bulimia, all contributed to McCormick losing her reputation for reliability as an actress. Since the 2000s, she has appeared on several reality television series such as VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, CMT's Gone Country (which led to a short-lived spin-off series led by McCormick, Outsiders Inn) and the Australian version of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, as well as guest spots on a wide range of television series. In 2008, McCormick published an autobiography, Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, which debuted at number four on The New York Times bestseller list and garnered significant publicity and mild controversy.

Life and careerEdit

1956–1968: Early life and television rolesEdit

McCormick was born in the Encino section of Los Angeles, California, to Irene (née Beckman) and William McCormick, a teacher.[1] She has three older brothers: Michael, Dennis, and Kevin. McCormick's grandmother died from syphilis in a mental institution, infected by her husband, who caught it in Europe during World War I (and who committed suicide a week after his wife's death). McCormick's mother contracted syphilis in utero, and McCormick dealt with a lifelong but unfounded fear that she would also get the disease.[2] She is of Irish descent, and was raised in a Roman Catholic family.[3]

At age six, she won the Baby Miss San Fernando Valley beauty pageant.[4] In 1964, she first appeared on national U.S. television, in Mattel commercials for Barbie and Chatty Cathy dolls. Through the later 1960s McCormick appeared in two episodes of Bewitched--both times playing Endora transformed into a little girl. She also played guest roles on I Dream of Jeannie, Honey West, The Farmer's Daughter, and My Three Sons. In 1970, she lent her voice to a redesigned Chatty Cathy doll.[5] McCormick attended Taft High School in Woodland Hills.

1969–1974: The Brady BunchEdit

 
McCormick's most famous role was as eldest daughter Marcia Brady on the classic 1970s sitcom The Brady Bunch.

McCormick played the beautiful eldest daughter, Marcia, who had five siblings. She had a perky and popular personality in The Brady Bunch, an American television sitcom about a blended family that aired from late 1969 to early 1974 on ABC, on Friday nights. After its cancellation, the series was later rebroadcast in syndication for decades, as children's programming, gathering a long-lasting, cross-generational popularity that led to spinoffs and movies. McCormick had a sporadic romance with her Brady Bunch co-star Barry Williams during the original series' run.

McCormick recorded four albums with the Brady Bunch cast, and toured with them as well. In 1972, she released her first solo single with the songs "Truckin' Back to You" and "Teeny Weeny Bit (Too Long)". The following year, McCormick recorded an album with her Brady Bunch co-star Christopher Knight, a pop extended play titled Chris Knight and Maureen McCormick, which carried both duets and solo tracks. McCormick's second solo single "Little Bird", backed with "Just a Singin' Alone", had mild chart success in the western United States (reaching Top 5 at KCPX in Salt Lake City). McCormick later performed "Little Bird" on American Bandstand, where host Dick Clark encouraged her to follow a singing career. McCormick released another single in 1973, "Love's in the Roses", backed with "Harmonize".

In 2015, archive footage of McCormick as Marcia was used for an American TV commercial advertising Snickers chocolate bars. The commercial, which debuted during Super Bowl XLIX, features action film star Danny Trejo as young Marcia who (in the context of being hungry) isn't acting like herself. After eating a Snickers, Marcia appears as McCormick once again.[6][7]

1975–2006: Other roles and personal strugglesEdit

Following the cancellation of The Brady Bunch, McCormick spent years addicted to cocaine and quaaludes, which impeded her career. McCormick later stated that she sometimes traded sex for drugs, and also had two abortions during her early twenties. She flubbed an audition with Steven Spielberg for a part in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), arriving for the audition under the influence of cocaine and having not slept for three days. She lost her reputation for reliability as an actress in Hollywood, and one producer threatened that she would never work as an actress again. She also dealt with bouts of depression and bulimia.[4][8]

Despite her struggles with addiction and depression, McCormick did appear in guest roles on numerous television series throughout the 1970s and 1980s, such as Happy Days, Donny & Marie, Love Boat, Vega$, Streets of San Francisco, and Fantasy Island, along with supporting roles in The Idolmaker and B movies such as A Vacation in Hell (1979) and Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979). McCormick later claimed she failed to get a role as a prostitute or heroin dealer for the movie Midnight Express because she continued to be identified with her Brady Bunch role.[9] She reprised her role as Marcia Brady on the short-lived series The Brady Brides in 1981, which was spun off from the movie The Brady Girls Get Married (1981). McCormick portrayed Wendy Darling in a touring stage production of Peter Pan, beginning in 1983.[10]

McCormick married Michael Cummings on March 16, 1985.[11] Shortly after getting married, McCormick went through a series of interventions, stints in rehab, and experimental therapies. She says that treatment with psychologist Eugene Landy set her back. She began to get sober after marrying, but she still suffered from depression and paranoia, and once threatened to jump from a balcony in front of her husband.[11] She and her husband were at first wary of medication, but McCormick was treated with antidepressant medication such as Prozac beginning in the 1990s. McCormick also said that she was helped by her friendships with former Brady Bunch cast members.[4][9]

She continued to appear sporadically in films and television projects, having a minor role as a police officer in Return to Horror High (1987), and again reprising her Marcia Brady role for the television film A Very Brady Christmas (1988). McCormick gave birth to her daughter, Natalie Michelle, on May 19, 1989. When The Bradys, a revival of The Brady Bunch, was scheduled to begin production in 1990, McCormick was unavailable to return as Marcia due to her infant daughter, so Leah Ayres filled the role instead. In 1993, the television sitcom Herman's Head episode "When Hermy Met Maureen McCormick" heavily featured her, playing herself. In 1994, McCormick made her Broadway debut as Betty Rizzo in a production of Grease.[12]

McCormick released her debut studio album, When You Get a Little Lonely, on April 4, 1995 as an audio CD and cassette.[13][14] The album was later made available as a digital download.[15] The album was released under Phantom Hill Records, a record label owned by her brother.[16][17] McCormick promoted it with live performances in Palmdale, California,[18] and CD signings.[19][20] When You Get a Little Lonely received negative reviews from music critics,[21][22][23] though McCormick's vocals did receive some praise.[21][24] In a retrospective interview with Entertainment Weekly, McCormick said that she was disappointed by the recording process for the album, and would have preferred to write at least one of her own songs.[25]

In 1997, she portrayed country singer Barbara Mandrell in the television biopic Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story. In 2000, McCormick was the first actress to play Rebecca Crane on the soap opera Passions, but she was not put on contract. In 2003, McCormick appeared as herself on an episode of the sitcom Scrubs with references being made to her Marcia Brady character.

2007–present: Reality series and other workEdit

 
McCormick in 2009

In April 2007, McCormick appeared on Dr. Phil to discuss a family dispute, accusing her brother[which?] of both elder abuse and alienating their father from his other children to gain control of his finances.[26] The same year, McCormick joined the cast of the fifth season of VH1's reality show Celebrity Fit Club, hoping to lose 30 pounds (14 kg) she had gained since her mother died of cancer and needing to move her disabled brother into an assisted living facility. McCormick lost 34 pounds (15 kg) and, in June of that year, was the individual winner of the series.

McCormick released her autobiography, Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, on October 14, 2008, with wide and sometimes controversial publicity. It debuted at number four on The New York Times bestseller list, where it stayed for three weeks.[27] The book was published by HarperCollins and was acquired by Director of Creative Development Lisa Sharkey. While promoting the book, McCormick was a guest on many news and talk shows such as Access Hollywood, The Howard Stern Show, Good Day L.A., and Paula's Party. The Today Show reportedly aired an interview with McCormick about the book rather than switch to a story about the 2008 recession.[28] McCormick said that a film would likely be made about her autobiography.[29]

Also in 2008, she joined the cast of the CMT reality show Gone Country, where she competed for a recording contract. This led to a spin-off reality series called Outsiders Inn, in which she opened a bed and breakfast in Newport, Tennessee. In 2008, McCormick became a spokesperson for Children International.[30] In March 2009, McCormick appeared on Comedy Central's roast of Larry the Cable Guy.

In 2015, McCormick appeared in the Australian version of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, where she lasted 42 days and was the last evictee before the finale.[31]

On August 30, 2016, McCormick was revealed as one of the celebrities who would compete on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. She was partnered with professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev.[32] McCormick and Chigvintsev were eliminated on the seventh week of competition and finished in 8th place.[33]

Biographical portrayalsEdit

Kaley Cuoco portrayed Maureen McCormick in Growing Up Brady (2000). McCormick's character Marcia Brady has been portrayed by Christine Taylor in The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) and its sequel A Very Brady Sequel.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1973 Young Marriage Beth Short
1976 Pony Express Rider Rose of Sharon
1977 Moonshine County Express Sissy Hammer
1979 Take Down Brooke Cooper
1979 Skatetown, U.S.A. Susan Nelson
1980 The Idolmaker Ellen Fields
1981 Texas Lightning Fay
1983 Shout for Joy Alma Irons
1987 Return to Horror High Officer Tyler
1996 A Very Brady Sequel Kitty (voice)
1997 Dogtown Didi Schmidt
2000 The Million Dollar Kid Betsy Hunter
2001 Title to Murder Leah Farrell
2002 Jane White Is Sick & Twisted Nancy
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Maureen McCormick
2012 Snow White: A Deadly Summer Eve
2015 Lift Me Up Grace
2015 Big Baby Molly
2016 Accidentally Engaged Jeannette
2017 The Neighborhood Rachelle
2017 Aileron Helen Short
2017 Rock Paper Dead Nurse Ruland

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1964–65 Bewitched Young Endora "And Something Makes Three", "Trick or Treat"
1965 The Farmer's Daughter Christine "Why Don't They Ever Pick Me?"
1965 Honey West Margaret Mary Driscoll "In the Bag"
1965–66 Camp Runamuck Maureen Sullivan "Who Stole My Bathtub?", "Tomboy"
1966 I Dream of Jeannie Susan "My Master, the Doctor"
1967 My Three Sons Sylvia Walters "Ernie, the Bluebeard"
1969–1974 The Brady Bunch Marcia Brady Main role
1972 The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie Marcia Brady (voice) "The Brady Kids on Mysterious Island"
1972 The Brady Kids Marcia Brady (voice) Main role (season 1)
1973 Marcus Welby, M.D. Sharon Boyd "The Day After Forever"
1975 Happy Days Hildie "Cruisin'"
1975 Harry O Nancy Wayne "Street Games"
1975 Joe Forrester Irene Kellogg "Bus Station"
1976 The Streets of San Francisco Cindy Lawson "No Minor Vices"
1976 Gibbsville Alice Chapman "All the Young Girls"
1976–77 The Brady Bunch Hour Marcia Brady Main role
1977 Delvecchio Lynette Youndfellow "One Little Indian"
1977 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Karen Phillips "Nancy Drew's Love Match"
1977–1982 The Love Boat Various roles 5 episodes
1978 Vega$ Jenny Logan "The Pageant"
1978–1983 Fantasy Island Various roles 6 episodes
1979 Insight Jenny "When, Jenny? When?"
1979 Lou Grant Tiffany "Sweep"
1979 A Vacation in Hell Margret TV film
1979 The Runaways Janet "Throwaway Child"
1981 The Brady Brides Marcia Brady Logan Main role
1988 A Very Brady Christmas Marcia Brady Logan TV film
1989 Day by Day Marcia Brady "A Very Brady Episode"
1993 Bradymania: A Very Brady Special Marcia Martin Brady TV film
1993 Herman's Head Maureen McCormick "When Hermy Met Maureen McCormick"
1996 The Single Guy Valerie "Kept Man"
1997 Touched by an Angel Jodi "Clipped Wings"
1997 Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story' Barbara Mandrell TV film
1997 Teen Angel Judy Beauchamp Regular role
1997–2003 Johnny Bravo Various roles (voice) 3 episodes
2000 Passions Rebecca Hotchkiss Regular role
2000–2002 Son of the Beach Mrs. Strawther "South of Her Border", "The Sexorcist", "Godfather Knows Best"
2001 It's Like, You Know... Maureen McCormick "Lust for Life"
2002 The Ellen Show Rita Carter "Shallow Gal"
2003 The Brothers García Mrs. Bauer "Moving on Up"
2003 Scrubs Maureen McCormick "My Journey"
2011 Christmas Spirit Sarah TV film
2014 Naughty & Nice Kate TV film
2015 Christmas Land Glinda Stanwick TV film
2016 Nightmare Next Door Marian Justi "Orange Grove Cruelty"
2017 The Loud House Jancey (voice) "Future Tense/Lynner Takes All"
2017 The Guest Book Maureen McCormick "Story Nine"
2019 A Very Brady Renovation Maureen McCormick TV series.

Stage creditsEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1983 Peter Pan Wendy Darling Touring national production [10]
1994 Grease Betty Rizzo Eugene O'Neill Theatre [12]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Presenter Award Result
2005–
2006
TV Land Awards Choice Dream Sequence Nominated
2005 TV Land Awards Choice Singing Siblings (shared with the kids of The Brady Bunch) Nominated
2006 TV Land Awards Most Beautiful Braces Nominated
2007 TV Land Award Pop Culture Award Won

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Maureen McCormick Biography (1956–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  2. ^ okmagazine.com, McCormick Talks Cocaine, Abortions & Syphilis Archived September 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, October 16, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  3. ^ @MoMcCormick7 (February 22, 2019). "LOL! I'm one of four kids in an Irish Catholic family. LOVE this show soooo much too! Brilliant!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on September 6, 2019 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b c "And the Truth Will Set You Free: Maureen McCormick Steve Duin for The Oregonian October 17, 2008". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  5. ^ "Chatty Cathy -- Little Known Facts".
  6. ^ AdWatch: Snickers Super Bowl Ad Brings Out Different Side of Marcia Brady. Retrieved June 10, 2015
  7. ^ The Snickers ‘Brady Bunch’-themed Super Bowl 2015 commercial starring Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi. Retrieved June 10, 2015
  8. ^ Leach, Ben. "Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick traded sex for drugs".
  9. ^ a b "A Very Brady Confession Maureen McCormick for Newsweek Magazine November 10, 2008 issue". Newsweek. November 10, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Jacobs, Tom (November 13, 1983). "Peter Pan: a high-spirited production". The San Bernardino Sun. San Bernardino, California. p. 43 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ a b "Marcia Brady" On Her Drug Use, Paranoia CBS Early Show November 21, 2008". CBS News. November 21, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  12. ^ a b "Maureen McCormick". Playbill. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  13. ^ "When you get a little lonely". WorldCat. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "Releases". AllMusic. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
  15. ^ "When You Get a Little Lonely". Apple Music. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
  16. ^ McKechnie, Gary (May 28, 1995). "Having A Bunch Of Fun With Marcia Brady". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on October 29, 2015.
  17. ^ "Factsheet". AllMovie. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
  18. ^ Thacker, Karen (January 8, 1996). "Palmdale Playhouse Opens '96 with Varied Fare". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. (subscription required)
  19. ^ "Hot Tips Y'All Should Hear That Brady Gal Sing". Los Angeles Daily News. April 24, 1995. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. (subscription required)
  20. ^ "Who: Maureen McCormick, also known as Marsha Brady from..." Orlando Sentinel. May 17, 1995. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015.
  21. ^ a b Roach, Pemberton. "AllMusic Review by Pemberton Roach". AllMusic. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  22. ^ Nash, Alanna (April 21, 1995). "When You Get a Little Lonely". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 20, 2015.
  23. ^ Bubbeo, Daniel (December 17, 2010). "Tube stars who laid down tracks". Newsday. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
  24. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: When You Get a Little Lonely". People. May 8, 1995. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Bierly, Mandi (March 3, 2008). "A chat with Maureen McCormick". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 4, 2017.
  26. ^ "The True Life of Marcia Brady". Drphil.com. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  27. ^ "New Thriller 'The Brass Verdict' By Michael Connelly Tops New York Times Best Seller List". Allheadlinenews.com. October 27, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  28. ^ "The Thursday wrap". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. October 16, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  29. ^ "'Brady Bunch' Star's Memoirs May Be Made into A Movie". Access Hollywood. October 25, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  30. ^ "Actress works with poor children in Africa on “Access Hollywood”".
  31. ^ Munro, Peter (February 1, 2015). "'I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here' begins in South African jungle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  32. ^ "'DWTS' 2016 Celebrity Cast Revealed: Ryan Lochte, Amber Rose, Rick Perry Among Star Lineup". Good Morning America: Yahoo. August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  33. ^ Kubicek, John (October 24, 2016). "'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Past vs. Future with the Team Dances". BuddyTV. Retrieved October 24, 2016.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit