Maureen McCormick And Eve Plumb's Journey From Brady Bunch Babies To HGTV Stars

In the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood, actors often find themselves navigating the delicate process of transitioning between different genres. Fortunately for "The Brady Bunch" characters Marcia and Jan, played Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb respectively, a shot at another dream job was just a (Zoom) call away.

The kickoff for McCormick and Plumb's dream job started in 2019, when the former child stars of "The Brady Bunch" — an American sitcom about a large family and their daily adventures — namely McCormick, Plumb, Barry Williams, Susan Olsen, Christopher Knight, and Mike Lookinland, reunited for "A Very Brady Renovation." The HGTV show aimed for the renovation of the iconic house in the show.

In 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the success of the seven-episode miniseries prompted McCormick and Plumb to be invited back to HGTV to be designers on "Design At Your Door," a show that offers people virtual assistance in renovating their own homes. "To be able to do this is an absolute dream job for me because it's something I just love so much. I love to work with textures and colors and perspective and get that whole design feel," Plumb told E! News. McCormick also shared, "I have always loved all of the areas of design. I love the whole network and all of the different things. I love [...] home design and the food and the DIYs and the gardens." Plumb and McCormick's paths to landing the show have been long and winding, but the pair has remained graceful and resilient over the years. 

Eve's start in the industry as a child star

Audiences have grown to adore "The Brady Bunch's" Jan, but Eve Plumb's venture into acting was actually one of pure luck. In a 2018 interview with Closer Weekly, Plumb shared that when she was a kid, an agent conveniently became her neighbor. With their help, she starred in a TV commercial and went on to appear on "The Big Valley," "Lassie," and then eventually, "The Brady Bunch."

However, Plumb's success as a child star proved to be one that was a double-edged sword. "I had so much success as a child ... But once you age out of being the cute kid, then what? If you're not ready for it, it can be very difficult," Plumb explained. Despite seemingly wanting to disassociate from being Jan Brady, as evidenced by a 1977 interview with the Journal Tribune, (Via MeTV) Plumb has eventually accepted her legacy. "I'll always be Jan Brady to so many people. I can't escape it, but I can do other things," she told Closer Weekly. 

Plumb's acting career — which spans more than four decades — includes a long list of television stints, such as "The Love Boat," "That '70s Show," "Kenan & Kel," and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She also secured roles in movies such as "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," and "Grease Live!" Beyond acting, Plumb keeps busy being a painter, a voiceover artist, and as owner of PlumbGoods, which she shares with her husband Ken Pace.

Maureen's internal battle

Maureen McCormick is best known for her iconic portrayal of the blond-haired, blue-eyed Marcia Brady on the beloved sitcom "The Brady Bunch." Just like Eve Plumb, McCormick started her journey in the entertainment industry as a child star. She began in showbiz as early as 6 years old.This might have given her a good head start in Hollywood, but fame often come at a significant cost.

The demanding nature of a career in entertainment often robs child stars of their childhood, but for McCormick, the challenges of growing up in the public eye were when she struggled the most. "You're always out there, and that's really tough. And when you're growing up, it's even tougher when you're growing up in front of cameras," she told "Good Morning America." (Via ABCNews)

She dealt with bulimia for years as a result. According to Mayo Clinic, bulimia is a serious eating disorder that causes a person to consume too much food and get rid of it in an unhealthy manner to avoid gaining weight. This led McCormick to step away from the limelight and take a break for 10 years, although she completed an album and was featured in an indie film during her hiatus.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Maureen's substance abuse and life after The Brady Bunch

As simple as the lovable Marcia's life was on the show, life beyond the cameras wasn't quite the same for Maureen McCormick. Aside from bulimia, she also battled with substance addiction and depression. It reached to a point her parents almost surrendered her to the policeIt wasn't until she met her husband Michael Cummings that she finally took sobriety seriously. Cummings threatened to leave the actor if she returned to her old habit.

"It woke me up. There's just no way I'm gonna lose somebody that I love," she told Us Weekly in a 2018 interview. The couple tied the knot in 1985 and are still married as of this writing. "We've been married now 33 years. I just had a feeling that I could trust him with my whole heart and that he was so honest and such a beautiful human being," McCormick emphasized.

Thankfully, she was able to turn her life around. She pursued other acting endeavors after "The Brady Bunch," including a 1994 Broadway stint where she played the character Rizzo in "Grease." She continued to work in television shows through the years, such as "The Guest Book" (2017), "Fantasy Island" (2023), and even made appearances on the medical comedy "Scrubs" and Cartoon Network kids' show "Johnny Bravo." Beyond acting, McCormick is also an author, who published a memoir titled "Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice" in 2008.

From facing the camera to making use of Zoom for the HGTV show

Of course, as innovative as it is, being HGTV's first fully self-shot show does come with its own challenges. So what it's really like to be on an HGTV show? For Eve Plumb and Maureen McCormick, the experience was quite challenging. The biggest hurdle for Plumb was the lack of physicality in picking out the items. Despite her prior experiences with online shopping, particularly furniture she built herself, nothing seemingly compares to good 'ol fashioned face-to-face shopping. "It would have been more helpful to be able to touch everything, but it's almost like you have an interpreter," Plumb told E! News.

Meanwhile, McCormick, who was in her mid-60s when the show took place, disclosed that it was actually her first time ever to use Zoom, which was a similar experience many people — regardless of age — had during the pandemic. "To not be in the space with the family [...] was crazy. They were so welcoming and so loving that I really did kind of feel like I was there with them," she emphasized.

Nonetheless, McCormick and Plumb got along pretty well with their clients. It was also worth noting that since they were already a household name thanks to "The Brady Bunch," the clients were more trusting of the two alumni — which Plumb pointed out as an integral part of the process of hiring a designer.

A conflict between the TV sisters

With their recent projects together, it's hard to believe that there was a time when the TV sisters weren't on good terms. Before starring in HGTV's "Design At Your Door," Eve Plumb and Maureen McCormick apparently had a long-standing feud. Susan Olsen, who played Cindy on the show, confirmed the dispute between the two child stars in a 2015 interview with "I think it's kind of petty. From day one with these two I have always been in the middle and now it's at the point where there isn't even a desire to communicate through me," Olsen said.

In 2010, a source told Radar Online that it even got to a point where Plumb would simply decline an invitation to events or engagements if she knew McCormick would be present. Although it was believed that the origin of the feud is the alleged relationship that McCormick implied she had with Plumb,the source noted that the fight started in the '70s and the two just don't really like each other.

Fast forward a few years later, it seems that all's well that ends well since McCormick and Plumb have seemingly buried the hatchet. In 2019, E! News asked Plumb to comment on the said fight and she responded that it was a thing of the past. "You know, we're all grown-up now, obviously, and we all get along like real people [...] There was no remedy needed," Plumb said.