‘The Brady Bunch’: One Star Explained Why She Was ‘Adamant’ About ‘Normal’ Upbringing While on Show

by Joe Rutland

Susan Olsen truly wanted normalcy in her personal life while playing youngest sister Cindy on ABC’s hit family show “The Brady Bunch.”

Olsen said that once “The Brady Bunch” ended, she probably wouldn’t be working again until she was 18 years old.

“Once you get past 13, there are enough 18-year-olds who can play young,” Olsen said in a 2009 interview with PopEntertainment.com. “They’ll get hired because [producers] don’t want to deal with the child labor laws.

“The closer you get to 18, the less hirable you are,” Olsen said. “So I figured, I’ll just kick back and have a normal teenagerhood, and go to high school.”

Olsen Wanted Real Life Beyond ‘The Brady Bunch’

Enjoying real-life time with her family and friends was an important piece for Olsen to have beyond “The Brady Bunch.”

“I always went back to regular public school when we weren’t filming,” Olsen said. “I did not want to have some kind of weird, sheltered life. (So) I was really adamant about it when I was a kid.”

Olsen believed that kids caught up in the TV world “did not know what it was like to be a teenager because they weren’t living as regular teenagers.” 

She tried to get people to not identify her with the role while in life outside of TV. Olsen even asked her friends not to watch “The Brady Bunch.”

“I made my friends promise not to watch it,” Olsen said. “And, of course, they watched it.” 

Eve Plumb Credits Neighbor, Parents For Her Success

Olsen’s costar Eve Plumb, who played Jan on “The Brady Bunch,” said that a neighbor and her parents played big roles in her success.

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

Now Plumb also gave kudos to her parents for being there for her during her time on the ABC family sitcom.

“My father ran my career and invested my money very well,” Plumb told the publication. “My mother was with me on set every day. They never took a cent from me!”

That support system helped Plumb navigate through what some TV child stars don’t get through successfully.