The Brady Bunch featured one of America’s first blended families on television. Starring Robert Reed (Mike Brady) and Florence Henderson Carol) as newlyweds bringing together three children each, the sitcom presented the daily lives of the family following remarriage.
The six Brady kids in the household were Greg (Barry Williams), Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Peter (Christopher Knight), Jan (Eve Plumb), Bobby (Mike Lookinland), and Cindy (Susan Olsen). Playing family housekeeper Alice, Ann B. Davis got to know her young co-stars quite well and gave this one props for acting skills.
Ann B. Davis considered this cast member a top performer
On the air from 1969 to 1974, The Brady Bunch remains a fan favorite thanks to syndication and streaming services. The six actors who played the kids are known for their now iconic roles, doing guest appearances and specials over the years. In a previous interview, Davis singled out Plumb as the best actor of the Brady brood.
“Eve was, I always thought, the best actor of the six kids at the time,” Davis told the Television Academy Foundation in 2014. “I mean, she knew what she was doing. And she was doing it as an actor. I don’t think she ever really was able to take that with her.”
Davis noted Plumb’s acting credits included shows other than The Brady Bunch, where she maintained her professional demeanor.
“I saw her in a couple of other things,” Davis remarked. “She was always good in a special kind of a way that is not her playing herself, but it’s her doing something on purpose because she knows how. I was always been kind of sorry that whatever the transition, she didn’t seem to have quite made it. … She was a very very good actress.”
Eve Plumb was on TV before ‘The Brady Bunch’
Plumb was somewhat of a seasoned actor before the role of Jan Brady came along. The Brady Bunch alum got her big break thanks to a new neighbor.
“It just happened,” she told Close Weekly in 2018. “A children’s agent moved next door to me when I was a kid and I got a commercial, then I kept getting more. I shot TV pilots, appeared on The Big Valley, then Lassie, then The Brady Bunch came.”
While she landed acting gigs in her youth, parts weren’t as easy to get as she got older.
“I had so much success as a child,” Plumb said. “But once you age out of being the cute kid, then what? If you’re not ready for it, it can be very difficult.”
That iconic ‘Marcia Marcia Marcia’ line
With sibling rivalry being a popular storyline between Marcia and Jan, one of Plumb’s most iconic lines was scripted in season 3 of the show. Yet Plumb revealed her “Marcia Marcia Marcia!” mantra wasn’t popular until a Saturday Night Live star did a spoof.
“Do you know where that came from?” Plumb told the New York Post in 2019. “It was from Saturday Night Live and [former cast member] Melanie Hutsell did a parody of it. That’s why it’s so popular, thanks to her. Until then, it wasn’t a thing.”
While Plumb shared that she’d love to take on roles unrelated to The Brady Bunch, she noted that Jan will continue to be a part of her.
“I’ll always be Jan Brady to so many people,” Plumb remarked. “I can’t escape it.”
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