Maureen McCormick is a popular American actress, author and a recording artist. She gained her popularity from playing the role of ‘Marcia Brady’ on the famous ABC television series called ‘The Brady Bunch’ from 1969 to 1974. She later reprised the role in several ‘The Brady Bunch’ spin-offs namely ‘The Brady Kids’, ‘The Brady Bunch Hour’, ‘The Brady Brides’ and ‘A Very Brady Christmas’. She also pursued a career as a recording artist and released four studio albums with the ‘Brady Bunch’ cast. She even has a solo album release, a country album named ‘When You Get a Little Lonely’. She has appeared on various reality shows on television like the ‘Celebrity Fit Club’ for VH1, ‘Gone Country’ for CMT, and the Australian version of ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ Her autobiography which was published in 2008 debuted at number 4 on ‘The New York Times’ bestselling books list and received both positive publicity and negative criticism.
Childhood & Early Life
Maureen Denise McCormick was born on 5 August 1956 in Encino, California. Her parents were William McCormick (a teacher by profession) and Irene McCormick (a housewife). She has three siblings: older brothers Michael, Dennis and Kevin.
She completed her schooling from the Taft High School in California. She had a major interest in dance and music since her childhood days. She loved to organize puppet shows for the entertainment of the neighborhood children.
She catapulted into instant fame when she won the Baby Miss San Fernando Valley beauty pageant at the age of six. In 1964, she made her first TV appearance in Mattel commercials (for Barbie and Chatty Cathy dolls) for the national U.S. television.
During the late 1960s, she starred in two episodes of ‘Bewitched’, an American sitcom fantasy series. It ranked as the number two show in its debut season in America and was also the longest running fantasy-themed TV series in the period of 1960-70s.
She also appeared in guest roles in ‘Honey West’, ‘My Three Sons’, ‘I Dream of Jeanie’ and ‘The Farmer’s Daughter’.
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In 1969, Maureen McCormick was selected from 1,200 girls in the audition for the role of ‘Marcia Brady’ (the eldest of the three ash-blonde daughters) in the TV sitcom ‘The Brady Bunch’. The show also had Robert Reed and Florence Henderson in major roles as a much-in-love newly wedded couple in a blended family. The show received great response and was aired for five consecutive years on ABC.
In 1970, she lent her beautiful voice to a Chatty Cathy doll, which was re-launched in a new avatar.
Her popularity as the character of Marcia Brady derived a lot of long-lasting, cross-generational fame that gave rise to multiple films and spinoffs – a mini-series ‘The Brady Brides’ (1981) and a movie ‘The Brady Girls Get Married’(1981). However, when ‘The Bradys’ series began in 1990 as a reincarnation of ‘The Brady’s Bunch’, Maureen was unable to play Marcia Brady as she had just given birth to a child.
Following her success with ‘The Brady Bunch’, she appeared in many guest roles on various TV sitcoms like ‘Donny & Marie’, ‘Love Boat’, ‘Happy Days’, ‘Vega$’, ‘Fantasy Island’ and ‘Streets of San Francisco’.
She also starred in many supporting roles like in ‘The Idolmaker’, ‘A Vacation in Hell’ (1979), ‘Skatetown, USA,’ (1979) and ‘Return to Horror High’ (1987).
Maureen McCormick performed in several musical stage productions, playing the roles of Wendy Darling in ‘Peter Pan’ and Betty Rizzo in ‘Grease’, during the period of 1980-90s. She was also the first to play Rebecca Crane in ‘Passions’, the famous soap opera.
In 2008, she joined the cast of ‘Gone Country’ (a CMT reality show) and it led to another spinoff reality show called the ‘Outsiders Inn’. She opened a ‘bed and breakfast’ accommodation in Newport, Tennessee as a part of the show.
In 2009, Maureen McCormick was present for the Comedy Central’s roast of ‘Larry the Cable Guy’. She also loved appearing as her most favorite character (Marcia Brady) on one of the episodes of ‘Scrubs’ around the same period.
On 30 August 2016 she was announced as one of the celebrities who would appear on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ for its 23rd season. She had Artem Chigvintsev (a professional dancer) as her partner and they stood 8th in the show.
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As a recording artist, Maureen McCormick had recorded four albums with the cast of the ‘Brady Bunch’ and also went on tours. In 1972, she released her first solo with the song – ‘Truckin’ Back to You.’
In 1973, an album named ‘Chris Knight and Maureen McCormick’ consisting of both solo and duet tracks was conceived in a partnership with Christopher Knight, her co-star in ‘Brady Bunch’.
McCormick’s next solo single – ‘Little Bird’ and ‘Just a Singin’ Alone’ performed averagely on the musical charts in Western United States. Later, she received appreciation for performing ‘Little Bird’ on ‘American Bandstand’ and was encouraged to pursue her career in singing by the host, Dick Clark.
In 1973, she released one more single named ‘Love’s in the Roses’ and it was further backed with ‘Harmonize.’ After a long time in 1995, she released her first (and only) solo album till date – ‘When You Get a Little Lonely’ which garnered positive reviews.
Maureen McCormick is best known for her role as Marcia Brady in the sitcom ‘The Brady Bunch’ that ran from 1969 to 1974. The show became extremely popular and established McCormick as a recognized face in the American television industry.
In 2007, she appeared in the popular reality show on VH1, ‘Celebrity Fit Club’ (fifth season) in a hope to lose 30 pounds. She was destined to become the winner as she eventually lost 34 pounds in the process.
Awards & Achievements
Maureen McCormick received nominations for awards like Choice Dream Sequence (2005-06), Choice Singing Siblings (2005) and Most Beautiful Braces (2006) from the TV Land Awards.
She won the Pop Culture Award in 2007 as presented by the TV Land Awards.
Personal Life & Legacy
Maureen McCormick revealed in her autobiography that her grandmother suffered from syphilis and died in a mental institution. Her mother also contracted syphilis while she was in the womb and eventually died of cancer. As a consequence, Maureen forever suffered from the fear of getting the disease herself, though her fears were unfounded.
McCormick had a stormy romance with her co-star in ‘Brady Bunch’, Barry Williams. After the cancellation of the sitcom, she got immersed in cocaine and quaaludes that ruined her career. She also suffered from depression and bulimia.
On 16 March 1985 she got married to Michael Cummings and the couple has a child, Natalie Michelle (1989). After her marriage, she underwent therapy and rehab and gradually got her life back on track. She had been treated with anti-depressants like Prozac and her friendship with the ‘The Brady Bunch’ family has also helped her in coping with the bad times.
On 14 October 2008, Harper Collins published her autobiography titled ‘Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice’ that garnered a lot of positive as well as negative criticism.
Currently, Maureen McCormick’s net worth is $2 million.