Here’s What Happened to Eve Plumb Before, During and After Playing Jan Brady on ‘The Brady Bunch’

Whenever referring to “The Brady Kids” (the young cast members from The Brady Bunch who are now all in their 60s), there’s a tendency to lump them all together as interchangeable as The Beatles were early in their career. But at the same time, Lloyd J. Schwartz, son of series creator Sherwood Schwartz and a producer on the show, feels that there was something about Eve Plumb that allowed her to stand a little bit apart from costars Barry WilliamsMaureen McCormickChristopher KnightSusan Olsen and Mike Lookinland.

“She came to the show with more of a history of the business in some way with her sister being an actress, her father involved in music and her mother ever-present,” says Lloyd. “So whenever we would do a scene, she was just kind of a little bit apart. Not in a bad way at all, because everybody has their own life things they bring to it. But it was something that we started to notice and some of the stories that we wrote just kind of highlighted that in a way, evolving into the whole middle-child syndrome storyline. Of course, now everybody uses that as an example of Jan Brady as this tormented kid. You know, ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!’ She played that really well.”

The Brady Bunch TV Show
ABC/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Pop culture historian Geoffrey Mark, author of The Lucy Book, offers, “Sherwood Schwartz had a great eye for talent. The reason both Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch work so well and have lasted so long is because they were so well cast. In the case of The Brady Bunch, when people talk about the casting process of interchangeable blond dads and dark-haired dads and blond moms and dark-haired moms, and then kids to match them, I think they’re selling him short. It’s very difficult to cast child actors. A child can seem charming or precocious in an interview, but can end up being dead meat on a soundstage. Likewise, someone who actually has acting talent may not interview well. So we must applaud Eve that Sherwood saw that this was a child who could act. There is a reason why you mention The Brady Bunch to most people who know the show, and their immediate response will be, ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!’

“Eve,” he continues, “was able to take what could have been a silly situation about playing the middle child who is not quite as pretty as the older sister and not quite as cute as the younger sister, and gave her a real personality and gave the situation seriousness. That’s why we remember ‘Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.’ She made an impression because she was playing a part She wasn’t just a cute child actor saying lines.”

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