Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
December 31, 1969
Currently Known For:
The Guest Book
A lot of us had an older sibling like Marcia Brady growing up. The one that always seemed to get the most attention both in the home and at school, and it could cause some jealousy. That’s why one of the most memorable moments in television history came when the character on “The Brady Bunch” took a football to the nose, which was cathartic for a lot of people. The actress who played Marcia, Maureen McCormick, looked like she sold the hit perfectly to the point where you’d think she was actually hurt.
Well, it turned out that the reason that McCormick acted out that scene so well is because she really was hurt. There had been conflicting stories throughout the run of “The Brady Bunch” and the years that followed about whether or not her nose was really broken. These stories came about after McCormick said that she had hit her face on a steering wheel when racing with one of her co-stars in their cars at the Paramount Studios parking lot.
At the time, though, McCormick thankfully didn’t actually break her nose. In the 1973 episode “The Subject Was Noses”, McCormick’s character gets asked out to the school dance by Doug Simpson. When she returns home with the good news to her family, she’s hit in the face with the football as thrown by her brother, played by Christopher Knight. However, Knight was off target on each of his throws, so the crew had to step in.
While off camera, writer Lloyd Schwartz (the son of creator Sherwood Schwartz) came in to throw the football. The inflated football was thrown in a tight spiral by Schwartz, and pegged McCormick right in the nose, prompting the famous response, “Oh, my nose!” Soon thereafter, we see McCormick’s character with a swollen nose and her school dance date in jeopardy because of it. Fortunately, McCormick’s nose wasn’t actually broken, avoiding the injury for a second time following her car accident.
For McCormick, it would perhaps be the most famous scene that she ever filmed during “The Brady Bunch”, despite the show running for five seasons and having more than 100 episodes. Add in some more spin-offs that McCormick took part in, and there was a lot to choose from, but it’s the simplicity of getting hit in the fact with a football that always stands out.
By the time that McCormick had landed the role of Marcia Brady, she had already been on television several times in guest appearances on shows such as “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie”. It seemed that McCormick’s career was set to take off after the original “Brady Bunch” series came to an end in 1974, and she made her feature length film debut in 1976’s “Pony Express Rider”, and had other roles in the 1970s that included “Moonshine County Express” and “Take Down”.
However, McCormick’s star wouldn’t rise on the big screen like many had hoped, as she’s only been in a handful of movies over the years. She had continued to be a staple on television, though, continuing to take guest appearances, but was continuously being typecast as Marcia Brady. In fact, her main roles for more than 20 years on TV would all come from the “Brady Bunch” franchise.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s that McCormick became a regular on shows such as “Teen Angel” and the soap opera “Passions”. Most recently, McCormick has made guest appearances on the shows “The Guest Book” and “The Loud House”, and the movie “The Neighborhood” with the upcoming 2019 horror film “Rock Paper Dead”, and she even participated in the reality TV competition “Dancing with the Stars”.
Part of the reason why McCormick’s career didn’t take off following “The Brady Bunch” was from her personal struggles away from the set. “For years in my personal life, I felt like I had to play Marcia Brady,” she said. When that went away, McCormick turned to the fast lifestyle that included staying out late and getting involved with substances that led to addiction and almost time in jail.
“My mom and dad, they almost turned me in to the cops,” she said. “They were at their last (wit) because they had been trying for years and knew something was going on and I was pretty sneaky and I could hide very, very well… But then I started messing up on jobs and so many things, so I’m sure everyone in the industry at the time knew that I was flaking out.”
It wasn’t until later in the 1980s that she met now husband Michael Cummings, and the two have been together for more than 30 years. She’s also been sober for much of that time (with the help of some of her former co-stars), and has been on reality television more frequently, showing that she’s gotten back on the right track. From showcasing her recovery and weight loss on shows such as “Celebrity Fit Club” to “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” and of course, “Dancing with the Stars”, McCormick seems to keep getting to a better and better place the farther she gets away from her days as Marcia Brady.