‘Brady Bunch’ Actress Susan Olsen Left Fame For Quiet Life Raising Her Son With Autism Alongside Comedian Husband

May 30, 2023 by apost team

Former child star Susan Olsen prefers life outside the spotlight as an adult, amid raising her autistic son and living on her own terms. "The Brady Bunch" alum is married, and although she lives an ultra-private life, her childhood fame remains indelible. Olsen was one of the bright stars of the 1970s sitcom where she played Cindy Brady. 

The TV actress first auditioned for "The Brady Bunch" at 7, but prior to that, she always felt like a professional actress. This was because her parents, who were also performers, supported her. She revealed this in a 2008 interview on JET 1079. During her time on the ABC-produced TV series, Olsen made a lot of fun memories, including her famous puppy love with fellow star Mike Lookinland, who played Bobby Brady. 

The two were one of a kind as they were smitten with each other while stealing kisses from time to time. This was even more memorable due to the hilarious way the pair ended their onscreen marriage, as documented in Barry Williams' book, "Growing Up Brady." The young Olsen and Lookinland playfully divorced each other, reversing their vows and walking down the aisle backward.

It is safe to say that this was one of the fun moments Olsen had on the show amid enjoying her life as a performer. However, all these were not enough to keep up her interest in celebrity life. Olsen disliked the fame that came with being a performer. Speaking to Fox News on May 22, 2023, the actress opened up about her reason for staying away from the public eye.

Eve Plumb, Maureen McCormick, Mike Lookinland, Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, Barry Williams, Susan Olsen, Christopher Knight (circa 1972), (Hulton Archive/Stringer via Getty Images)

She stated that fame was the only part she loathed. Olsen clarified that she loved her castmates and industry, but fame was like "fool's gold." She recalled her encounter with the effect of fame and stated that it left her frightened. 

While she had an aversion to fame, it did not deter her interest in Hollywood. Olsen continued channeling her love for acting by becoming a teacher. The star revealed that she taught acting to children, and from her experience, most kids want to join the acting world because of fame. 

Due to her past encounter, Olsen relayed that she would often explain how her young students should be focused on doing "good work" because "fame is the byproduct of good work." 

For Olsen, life outside Hollywood meant getting married and becoming a mother. She welcomed her son, Michael, during her second marriage. 

She was first married to kickboxer Steve Ventimiglia from 1988 to 1990. Olsen then walked down the aisle a second time with Mitch Markwell in 1995. Two years into their union, the couple welcomed their first child. Michael was named after his mom's onscreen childhood flame. 

In 2004, Michael was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism. With a life away from the spotlight, Olsen focused on caring for her son and her passion as an acting teacher. Not much is known about the actress' son, but there are no doubts that she is a proud mom, dedicated to her role. Fans get to see her bond with her son on social media. 


Susan Olsen, Michael (2001), (Maureen Donaldson/Archive Photos via Getty Images)

The TV star often flaunts mother-son images on Instagram to show off milestones and precious moments. In one of her jolly posts, Olsen shared a selfie taken with Michael showing off his blonde tresses and a voguish haircut. She and her son posed for the camera in another post while bonding over guitars.  

According to her Brady Bunch Wikia profile, Olsen got married a third time in 2009, five years after splitting from Markwell. She married star comedian Chris "Crazy Legs" Fonseca. During her JET 1079 interview, the actress opened up about how she met and married the love of her life. She revealed how they first met while playfully chipping in that fans should come to see them fight. Olsen recalled how Fonseca was fun to hang out with.

Fonseca, a seasoned comedian with cerebral palsy, has not let his condition hinder his aspirations and success. In an LA Times interview, Fonseca shared that he enjoyed performing in front of people and "making them laugh." He relayed that he was comfortable onstage as opposed to facing real life. The entertainer started as a journalism student before veering into comedy. He often told jokes with his friends because it was "the best way to deal with my situation."

He started his career in 1985 by performing at open-mic spots. Fonseca revealed that it took "a little courage and a few beers" for him to show off his talent. But, with decades of experience, Fonseca knows how to carry his audience along and bring out the fun, just as his wife confirmed.   

Michael, Susan Olsen (2007), (Barry King/WireImage via Getty Images)

Isn't it awe-inspiring that Susan Olsen and her family stay positive despite life's challenges? Do you know anyone living with similar conditions? How have they inspired you? Be sure to pass this inspiring piece on to others. 

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