Who Is Maureen McCormick?
Actress Maureen McCormick shot to stardom with her role as teenager Marcia Brady on the television sitcom The Brady Bunch. McCormick battled drug addiction after the series ended, and eventually overcame her addictions.
Early Life and Career
Maureen Denise McCormick was born on August 5, 1956, in Woodland Hills, California, the youngest and only daughter of Richard and Irene McCormick. Her father was a schoolteacher, and her mother was a stay-at-home mom. She has three older brothers: Michael, Dennis and Kevin.
Beginning at a very early age, McCormick loved to sing and dance, and would often put on puppet shows for the neighborhood children. Her fairytale rise to fame started when she won the Baby Miss San Fernando Valley contest at the age of 6, which led to a call from talent agent Pat Domigan of the Jack Wormser Agency, who asked if she would like to be in show business.
McCormick landed her first major job in 1964, when she starred in a television commercial for Mattel's newest doll, "Baby Pattaburp." Later that year, she did another commercial for the company's "Chatty Cathy" doll and was soon cast in the play Wind It Up And It Breaks, at the La Jolla Playhouse.
'The Brady Bunch'
In 1969, McCormick was chosen from a field of 1,200 children who auditioned to play the eldest of three towheaded daughters on the new TV sitcom The Brady Bunch, starring Florence Henderson and Robert Reed as newlyweds with a blended family. The show ran for five years.
In her book Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, published in 2008, McCormick revealed that during the show's fifth season, she almost lost her virginity to her onscreen brother and co-star, Barry Williams. She was 16 years old at the time; he was 19. "It would have happened," she said, "but the timing was never right for us."
In the meantime, McCormick graduated from William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hills.
In 1981, the entire cast of The Brady Bunch, who had kept in touch casually over the years, reunited to make the TV movie The Brady Brides. McCormick was 25 years old at the time, and by then heavily into cocaine and quaaludes. The actress would also star in The Brady Bunch Hour, A Very Brady Christmas and The Brady Girls Get Married.
Drugs, Pills and Bulimia
McCormick struggled for years with body issues and bulimia that began in her teen years and eventually put her on a path of self-destruction. After The Brady Bunch ended its run, McCormick found it impossible to shake off her pristine, good-girl image and found it difficult to get serious acting roles. She made guest appearances on the TV shows The Streets of San Francisco, Love Boat, Vega$, Happy Days, Donny & Marie and Fantasy Island, along with supporting roles in a string of B-rated films.
After being passed over for a more serious role in the movie Midnight Express, starring Brad Davis, she landed a role in Take Down in 1979—but by that time, she was frequenting the cocaine dens of Hollywood, becoming addicted to drugs and pills. She once admitted to dating actor Steve Martin while she was "fried" out of her brain. The two had only one date. During the production of The Brady Brides, McCormick's agent found her in her closet, high on cocaine, after missing three days of production.
"I was so addicted to cocaine, it nearly destroyed me," McCormick said in an interview with Access Hollywood. "It became my everything."
Marriage and Rehab
McCormick married actor Michael Cummings on March 16, 1985. Their daughter, Natalie Michelle, was born on May 19, 1989.
After marrying Cummings, McCormick confronted her depression and addictions head on. She had several stints in rehab and dabbled in experimental therapy, which proved successful. She and her family settled in Westlake, California.
Along with releasing a country-music album, 1995's When You Get a Little Lonely, McCormick continued to surface in films and TV shows. Most notably, she joined the group of contestants for season 5 of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club in 2007, ultimately winning the onscreen contest. This experience led her to make the connection between her weight gain and depression, and she publicly addressed her mental health and drug issues.
In 2016, McCormick competed in season 23 of Dancing With the Stars, finishing in eighth place.
In 2019, she participated in A Very Brady Renovation, a spinoff off HGTV's popular Property Brothers house-renovation program which reunited McCormick with many of her old castmates for a project to recreate their TV home.
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