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Brady Bunch Actress Reveals Addiction, Emotional Struggles in Memoir

It’s sadly common to learn that, behind the scenes of some of our favorite family shows, pain and turmoil was hidden just beneath the surface. In the years since the final episode of The Brady Bunch, actress, Maureen McCormick, has been vocal about how much she struggled silently during her years portraying Marcia Brady but now she has chosen to share on a deeply intimate level.

In a new memoir titled, Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, 58-year-old McCormick opened up about her eating disorder, cocaine addiction, abortions, trading sex for drugs and the devastating death of her grandmother from syphilis.

Fans of the hit sitcom will know that this behavior is very different from her character on the show – Marcia never seemed to have a real care in the world whereas McCormick’s battles with addiction began when she was just 18.

Maureen McCormick at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards. Barker HangaIn her personal book, she shared: “I sought refuge in seemingly glamorous cocaine dens above Hollywood. I thought I would find answers there, while in reality I was simply running farther from myself. From there, I spiraled downward on a path of self-destruction that cost me my career and very nearly my life.”

During a particularly low moment, McCormick admits that, in exchange for drugs, she once had sex with her cocaine dealer. Getting high was more important than anything because, she said, “nothing else mattered.”

Her emotional stress was compounded further after learning that her grandmother had contracted syphilis and died in a mental institution. The virus was spread to McCormick’s mother in utero. Although, her mother was treated to prevent transmission during her pregnancy with McCormick, the star became depressed and developed severe anxiety after hearing the truth.

Sadly, the actress’ troubles did not end there. In addition to battling bulimia in an attempt to maintain a “perfect” figure, she also hid several unplanned pregnancies. In her writing, she revealed: “I was 18, 19 and 20 when I had each abortion. It shows how careless I was. It shows what drugs did to me and how far I went.”

Fortunately, McCormick was able to turn her life around after entering rehab. She worked diligently to improve herself but also credits her husband, Michael Cummings, for helping her overcome some of the pain from her childhood. The pair married in 1985 and share a 25-year-old daughter named Natalie.

Maureen McCormick has definitely lived through many difficult times and has had to face the consequences of some of her choices but, ultimately, she is a great example of resilience. Any one of us can become overwhelmed by the obstacles life can bring but we all have the ability to dust ourselves off and start over.  Hopefully, McCormick’s courageous decision to share will inspire others to break destructive patterns.

Brady Bunch Actress Reveals Addiction, Emotional Struggles in Memoir

Jeanne Croteau

Jeanne has been a celebrity blogger for eight years and also teaches psychology at the college level. In addition to her passion for mental health, she is an avid reader, hockey fan and mother of four.

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APA Reference
Croteau, J. (2015). Brady Bunch Actress Reveals Addiction, Emotional Struggles in Memoir. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 9 Feb 2015
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