‘The Brady Bunch’: Was Maureen McCormick’s Addiction Battle Her Trying to ‘Live Up to’ Marcia?

by Josh Lanier

All of The Brady Bunch kids struggled when Paramount killed the show in 1974 but none as badly Maureen McCormick. After the show ended, she fell into a years-long addiction to cocaine and struggles with bulimia.

In a question and answer session with fans on WRAL, Barry Williams said he didn’t face the same pressures as McCormick. So, he was able to find some stability in his life.

“I wasn’t trying to live down or live up to my character like Maureen seemed to be,” he said. “I have always kept my focus on the work, and that gave me a sense of stability,” he said.

McCormick wrote a book about her struggles in 2008 called Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice.

McCormick wrote an article for Newsweek, saying the public expected her to be perfect. She wasn’t just playing Marcia Brady, she had to be Marcia Brady.

“She was perky, well-balanced and above all, always happy,” McCormick wrote. “It was an image I portrayed on screen from the age of 12 until I turned 17, but one I’d battle to overcome the rest of my life.”

The Brady Bunch role made her famous but became a prison.

“Everywhere I went, people still identified me by the role I played as a teen. The association made it impossible to just be me and made it really hard to get the kind of parts I wanted. For instance, I was up for a role in “Midnight Express,” which I almost got, but then was turned away because of the ‘”Marcia connection.'”

She started abusing cocaine at 17 and continued for five years. She admitted to trading sex for the drug and posing nude for drug dealers to score.

‘The Brady Bunch’ Star Finds Salvation

Maureen McCormick believes she would have died if she hadn’t met her husband in 1980. The Brady Bunch star said he helped her see she had self-worth and didn’t want to live like this anymore, she said on Dancing with The Stars. Ironically, they met on the set of The Brady Brides, she wrote.

“I was going to crazy parties, doing crazy things,” she said. “Drugs were everywhere. I lost all control. I did things that I’m not proud of at all. When my husband and I met, I had come out of a five-year heavy cocaine addiction. My husband really, really helped save me from rock-bottom.”

But shortly into their relationship, he caught her doing cocaine. He gave her an ultimatum, which finally got her to seek help.

“[I] met this guy [Michael Cummings] … and I had my last relapse,” she said. “He came to me and said, ‘If you ever do this drug again, I’m gone, I’m leaving.’ It woke me up. It was like the coldest shower you could ever take, there’s just no way I’m gonna lose somebody that I love.”

She’s been clean since and has renewed her faith in God. The couple have an adult daughter

McCormick wrote in Newsweek that doctors diagnosed her with bipolar disorder years later and put her on medication that was very helpful.