‘Brady Bunch’ Star Eve Plumb Once Described Her Lucky Break

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Eve Plumb, whose face launched a thousand Brady Bunch memes, thanks the luck of real estate for helping her launch her career.

Yes, really. If not for the adage location, location, location, maybe another young blonde actress would’ve been the toast of middle children everywhere.

Let’s take it back to when Plumb was six. That was about six years before she landed her career-defining role in The Brady Bunch. The key moment? Her family got some new neighbors.

“It just happened,” Plumb told Closer Weekly in a 2018 interview. “A children’s agent moved next door to me when I was a kid and I got a commercial, then I kept getting more. I shot TV pilots, appeared on The Big Valley, then Lassie, then The Brady Bunch came.”

She said her parents became very involved in her career. But in a good way. “My father ran my career and invested my money very well,” the Brady Bunch star told Closer Weekly. “My mother was with me on set every day. They never took a cent from me!”

Plumb was an ace at playing Jan, the poor, put upon, middle child (cue the middle-school angst). On The Brady Bunch, she always was known as Marcia’s sister. Or folks noticed Cindy, you know, the youngest one who was always in curls.

Darlene Hammond/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Jan’s most memorable episode probably was in 1971. It was called My Sister’s Shadow. Let’s go to IMDB for the plot synopsis. “Jan is tired of being compared to Marcia and constantly being told how great her older sister is, so she tries to do something that Marcia never accomplished–make the pom-pom team.”

And in this Brady Bunch episode, Jan pouts about Marcia. “Well, all I hear all day long at school is how great Marcia is at this or wonderful Marcia did that,” Jan said in the episode. “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” The line became an instant classic as well as a future internet meme. But she only said it once the entire series.

Jan often was anxious about her looks. Remember the episode when she needed glasses? “Glasses! Oh, no, Mom! Not glasses! They’ll make me look absolutely positively goofy!”

And pretty, perfect Marcia, who always had a Friday night date at the pizza place, liked to tease Jan. She once told her: “Jan, if boys don’t find you attractive, don’t blame me.”

Once The Brady Bunch was canceled in 1974, Plumb’s acting career struggled to get out of neutral as she became an adult. She did star as a teen prostitute in Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway. Talk about playing against type. As Dawn, she ran away to LA and supported herself by sleeping with men. She also appeared in NBC’s TV movie and limited TV series, Little Women.

Plumb also did all the perfunctory TV series as befitting a 1970s star. She made appearances on The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. And she also did guest stints on Here’s Lucy, One Day at a Time, The Facts of Life and daytime soap opera All My Children.

But thanks to her neighbor way back when, she had an acting career. Now that’s a true lucky break.

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