Maureen McCormick Of 'The Brady Bunch' Faced 'Grim Spiral Of Avoidance, Denial, And Self-Destruction' Following Her TV Fame

May 13, 2022 by apost team

Maureen McCormick first entered our homes and hearts as Marcia Brady in ABC's hit series "The Brady Brunch." The television sitcom followed the lives of newlyweds Mike Brady (played by Robert Reed) and Carol Martin (played by Florence Henderson) and their blended family with six children. The series ran for five seasons, from 1969 to 1974, but its impact on television has turned the show into a pop culture phenomenon.

Following the success of "The Brady Bunch," Maureen McCormick reprised her role as Marica Brady in several spin-offs; "The Brady Kids," "The Brady Bunch Hour," and "The Brady Brides." Although the actress enjoyed the role, she battled with comparing herself to America's sweetheart, Marcia Brady. In an interview with the Today Show, McCormick explains the ups and downs of portraying the eldest Brady daughter.

"Playing Marcia was a double-edged sword; it always will be whenever you play a character like that," McCormick said. "You will be known as that character forever. So much good came from being on the show, so much fun that I had. At the same time, it was weird because I felt like I had to show to the public that I was Marcia — perfect, with no problems. I didn't think I could be my imperfect self. I pretended I was Marcia, so I was always playing this role. I became her, but yet I wasn't. It's strange."

Being the epitome of the girl next door, McCormick attempted to uphold Hollywood's beauty standards in her everyday life. A decision that led her down a very dangerous path of eating disorders and drug abuse. 

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

In her memoir, "Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice," Maureen McCormick referred to her life after her notable role as Marcia Brady as "a whirlwind of experimentation and searching that evolved into a grim spiral of avoidance, denial, and self-destruction."

McCormick's decade-long battle with bulimia started when she enrolled in public high school, following the ending of "The Brady Bunch." She recalls her first purging experience in an interview with People

"I was with some girls," the actress said. "We had a gallon of ice cream, and someone mentioned how we could eat it all and not gain weight. It seemed ideal. Once I started [purging], it was hard to stop."

Although her polished image in the spotlight didn't start her eating disorder, the pressures of appearing beautiful on-screen did affect it. After "The Brady Bunch" ended, McCormick appeared on "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island.

"I had to be in a bathing suit," McCormick remembered. "That made me so self-conscious."

At the time, McCormick began dabbling with substances, a habit she developed from a boyfriend. The dazzling actress hid the darkest parts of her life for years, but her polished image quickly shattered once her secret was revealed. 

"I hit rock bottom when I was doing "The Brady Brides," the actress confessed to the Today Show. "I was supposed to be at the studio, screen testing to pick the guy that would play my husband. At this time, I have been up for three days doing coke and was playing solitaire in my closet. My agent had to go the sixth floor, climb into my place, tear off my clothes and get me in the show. He said, 'You have to get to Paramount right now, and you have a problem." I couldn't hide it anymore. Everyone knew."

Maureen McCormick (2000), (Ron Galella, Ltd/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

Maureen McCormick battled her addiction and eating disorder for many years. Unfortunately, the consequences of her addictions have wreaked havoc on her career. 

"I destroyed certain jobs, there were somewhere I was really high and it was bad. It was really bad," she admitted to Entertainment Tonight

Over many years and several relapses, McCormick beat her addictions by finding her faith in a higher power and therapy. 

McCormick met her now-husband, Michel Cummings, a few years later at a church concert. The couple wed in 1985 and have a daughter together named Natalie. As her daughter approaches the age where McCormick faced her toughest challenges, the famed actress hopes to use her experiences to help others. 

Since the early 2000s, McCormick has appeared on several reality television shows such as; VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club," "Gone Country," and the "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" show.

McCormick has returned to television with her new HGTV show, "Frozen in Time," where she and designer Dan Vickery use their creative juices to reimagine and renovate dated homes. The stylish duo works to transform these homes into modern chic living spaces while honoring their original designs. 

As a member of one of television's favorite families, McCormick understands the importance of making a house into a home. 

"To me, a house is memories," the "Love Boat" actress shares with  

In an interview with The Seattle Times, the Hollywood star shares what she believes is the biggest mistake in renovating older homes. 

"I feel the biggest mistakes often are taking away the History," she said. "I love when a house that is old keeps its character and personality."

Maureen McCormick (2020), (Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Have you watched Maureen McCormick's new show? Would you take her advice on styling and updating your home? Let us know!

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