Maureen Denise McCormick (born August 5, 1956) is an American actress, author and recording artist. She is most widely known for her career as a child actress, during which she portrayed Marcia Brady on ABC‘s The Brady Bunch from 1969 to 1974.
Maureen McCormick was born in Encino, California, the daughter of Irene (née Beckman) and William McCormick, a teacher. She has three older brothers: Michael, Dennis and Kevin. At the age of six she won the Baby Miss San Fernando Valley beauty pageant. McCormick first appeared on national U.S. television in 1964 for Mattel toys on Barbie and Chatty Cathy doll commercials. She lent her voice to a redesigned Chatty Cathy doll in 1970. Through the later 1960s McCormick appeared in two episodes of Bewitched and played guest roles on I Dream of Jeannie, Honey West, The Farmer’s Daughter and My Three Sons.
McCormick played the 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, Friday nights at 8 p.m. After its cancellation Brady Bunch episodes were rebroadcast in syndication for decades as children’s programming, gathering a long-lasting, cross-generational popularity that led to spinoffs and movies.
After The Brady Bunch, McCormick made guest appearances on many television series 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 1979′s A Vacation In Hell, Skatetown, U.S.A. and 1987′s Return to Horror High. However, perhaps owing to the ongoing broadcast of Brady Bunch reruns in syndication, she may have become typecast[by whom?]. McCormick later claimed she failed to get a part as a prostitute or heroin dealer for the movie Midnight Express because of this. McCormick was the first actress to play Rebecca Crane on the soap opera Passions but she was not put on contract.
In 2007, McCormick was a cast member on the fifth season of VH1‘s reality show Celebrity Fit Club, hoping to lose 30 pounds 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 and, in June of that year, was the individual winner of the series. In 2008, she became a spokesperson forChildren International. Later that year, she became a cast member on the CMT reality show Gone Country. This led to a spin-off reality series called Outsiders Inn in which she opened a bed and breakfast inn in Newport, Tennessee. On March 15, 2009, McCormick appeared on Comedy Central‘s roast of Larry the Cable Guy.
McCormick and fellow Brady Bunch cast member Barry Williams had a sporadic romance during the original series run, with their first romantic kiss happening in the summer of 1972, while filming the Hawaiian episodes.
In her autobiography, McCormick wrote that her grandmother died from syphilis in a mental institution, having gotten the disease from her husband who had caught it in Europe at the time ofWorld War I (and who committed suicide a week after his wife’s death). McCormick’s mother had contracted syphilis in utero and McCormick dealt with a lifelong, but unfounded, fear she would also get the disease. Hence, McCormick later said her favorite scenes in The Brady Bunch were those that called for her to cry, since this allowed her to release feelings she drew from those fears.
Following the cancellation of The Brady Bunch, McCormick went through years of addiction to cocaine and Quaaludes that harmed her career. McCormick later claimed she sometimes traded sex for drugs. She also had two abortions during her early twenties. She flubbed an audition with Steven Spielberg for a part in Raiders of the Lost Ark, showing up high on cocaine and sleepless for three days. She lost her reputation for reliability in Hollywood, and one producer threatened that she would never work as an actress again. She also dealt with bouts of depression andbulimia.
On March 16, 1985 she married Michael Cummings, who had heard of The Brady Bunch but had never seen it. They fell in love upon meeting in a church. McCormick and Cummings have one child, daughter Natalie Michelle, born May 19, 1989. The family lives in Westlake Village, northwest of Los Angeles.
After her marriage, McCormick went through a series of interventions, stints in rehab and experimental therapies. She says treatment with psychologist Eugene Landy, who had also treated Brian Wilson, set her back. Although she began to get sober after marrying her husband, McCormick still suffered from depression and paranoia. McCormick once threatened to jump from a balcony in front of her husband. She and her husband were at first wary of medication, but McCormick has been treated with antidepressant medication such as Prozac since the 1990s. McCormick also said she was helped by her friendships with former Brady Bunch cast members.
In April 2007, on the TV series Dr. Phil, McCormick talked about a family dispute, accusing her brother of both elder abuse and alienating their father from his other children to gain control of his finances
On October 14, 2008, with wide and sometimes controversial publicity, she released her autobiography Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, which debuted at number four on The New York Times Best Seller List and stayed on the list for three weeks. The book was published by HarperCollins and was acquired by the Director of Creative Development,Lisa Sharkey. While promoting the book she 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 Showreportedly aired an interview with McCormick about the book rather than switch to a story about the 2008 recession. McCormick said a movie would likely be made about her autobiography
McCormick recorded four albums, with the Brady Bunch cast and toured with them. In 1972, she released her first solo single with the songs “Truckin’ Back to You” and “Teeny Weeny Bit (Too Long).” A year later McCormick recorded an album with Brady co-star Christopher Knight. The pop LP, called Chris Knight and Maureen McCormick, carried both duets and solo tracks by the two young television stars. McCormick’s second solo single was “Little Bird”, backed with “Just a Singin’ Alone”, had mild chart success in the western US. McCormick performed “Little Bird” onAmerican Bandstand and the show’s host Dick Clark encouraged her to follow a singing career. McCormick released another single in 1973, “Love’s in the Roses”, backed with “Harmonize.”
More than twenty years later McCormick released her first solo album, a country CD called When You Get a Little Lonely (1995). Although not a commercial success, it gathered mostly positive reviews. In 1997, she played country singer Barbara Mandrell in the television biography Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story and in 2008 competed for a record contract on the CMTreality show Gone Country.