The Brady Bunch star Eve Plumb has a strained relationship with her Brady past. The Jan Brady actress says that some days she wishes people could just forget it happened, while other days she embraces it.
Plumb has stayed busy most of her career. She starred in several television shows and films since the show ended in 1974, but she’ll always only been Jan Brady to a lot of people. She tried to explain her back-and-forth relationship with the character in The Brady Bunch Exposed documentary.
“As far as regretting it, no,” she said of the role. “Sometimes I wish it would go away — yes. You know sometimes I wish people would just see me as I am and, you know, forget about that. But maybe they can’t necessarily. Maybe it’s asking too much.”
Other ‘Brady Bunch’ Stars Feel the Same Way
Maureen McCormick has a similar sentiment but handles it in a completely different way. She just doesn’t talk about The Brady Bunch. The end of the show led to some dark periods in her life — a severe cocaine addiction for one — but she found happiness with her husband in 1980 and has been clean ever since. She wrote about her time as a Brady and the subsequent years in her book Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice. The fact she uses the verb “surviving” says a lot. Though she did continue acting in television and movies.
Christopher Knight, Peter Brady, also struggled after the show ended. He eventually gave up acting and became a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He had several successful start-ups, but he eventually returned to television in the form of a reality show My Fair Brady where he dated and married the first winner of America’s Next Top Model Adrianne Curry. They subsequently divorced.
“They don’t want to necessarily be tied into Brady’s their whole lives,” Lloyd Schwartz, the son of The Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz said, “and I can understand it. I have not had to live my life being recognized as a Brady and being celebrated for something I did 30 years ago.”
Eve Plumb Tries to Escape ‘The Brady Bunch’
Despite the show doing well in the ratings, Paramount executives canceled the show in 1974. The constant behind-the-scenes fighting and the upcoming contract negotiations with the young cast made the studio walk away from the show.
Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady, said the fall from fame to floundering in Hollywood was difficult.
“Being a former Brady and trying to do anything in the industry was extremely uncool,” she said in The Brady Bunch Exposed documentary. “And there was not really any respect for us. It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re on that stupid saccharine-sweet show. It’s like, well, I didn’t write the scripts.”
Eve Plumb finished high school, then took on a controversial role in the 1977 TV movie Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn about a teenage prostitute.
“Everybody always wants you to ‘come on, do one for the team,’ you know,” she said. “‘It’ll be fun. Let’s get everybody back together,’ and you that doesn’t seem to be the argument that’s gonna get me there.”
She eventually returned to The Brady Bunch fold years later for specials, a dramatic series, and films.