“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” was the line Eve Plumb made famous in The Brady Bunch as the slightly awkward but lovable middle daughter Jan Brady, who could never quite escape the shadow of her older sister. While Plumb’s portrayal made a lasting impression on TV viewers with her iconic glasses and full metal braces, one thing is certain about the former child actress — she’s much more than just Jan Brady. Today, she’s an accomplished painter and on October 2nd she’ll also be auctioning off her extensive collection of Brady Bunch memorabilia — read on to find out more.
Becoming Jan Brady
Born Eve Aline Plumb in Burbank, California, Plumb began appearing in commercials at the age of seven (when a children’s agent moved next door to her). Then she started doing guest roles in several television series including The Big Valley, Gunsmoke, Lassie and The Virginian. Then in 1969 she rose to fame portraying Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch.
Eve portrayed Jan as the often-insecure middle child in the “bunch” who was jealous of her older sister, Marcia. Her character was a stand-out, and has the most quoted line from the 117 episode series, when a jealous Jan spat out, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” in retaliation to all of the attention her perfect sister always received.
Life after The Brady Bunch
“I had so much success as a child,” Eve has told Closer. “But once you age out of being the cute kid, then what? If you’re not ready for it, it can be very difficult.”
When The Brady Bunch turned the lights off in their San Fernando Valley home, Plumb’s first notable role was a complete opposite of the young, innocent Jan. She played a teenage prostitute in the 1976 NBC movie, Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway. So satisfied with the outcome of the TV movie, Plumb reprised her role in the sequel, Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn in 1977.
She went on to make numerous guest-starring appearances in series such as Here’s Lucy, Fantasy Island, The Facts of Life, Murder, She Wrote and All My Children to name a few. But when it came to reuniting for the 1976-1977 variety show, The Brady Bunch Hour, Plumb politely declined the offer due to contract differences. She didn’t want to sign on for a five-year run, so Jan was recast and filled by Geri Reischl, who went on to be known as “fake Jan.”
Returning to Jan
Despite not returning with the rest of the cast for the variety show, Plumb embraced being Jan Brady and reprised the character across multiple other shows, including 22 episodes for the series The Brady Kids. She returned to Jan for the TV movie, The Brady Girls Get Married, in 1981, which led to The Brady Brides, a short-lived sitcom co-starring Maureen McCormick in her role of Marcia.
So popular was Jan Brady, that the New York City-based alternative rock band, Eve’s Plum, captured its name from the actress. While some actors try to leave their iconic roles behind for greener pastures, Plumb still relishes the recognition Jan has afforded her, and it even opened up doors for other acting parts. “I’ll always be Jan Brady to so many people,” Plumb told Closer. “I can’t escape it, but I can do other things.”
What Eve Plumb is doing today
The Southern California native is still acting. In the last few years she has been seen on shows such as Blue Bloods and Bull. In 2016, she reprised the role of shop teacher Mrs. Murdoch in Grease Live!
Plumb is also an accomplished artist and began dabbling with paints more than 20 years ago. “I’ve always drawn and painted,” she told Celebrity Parents. “But that’s when I decided to see if I could really do it. It took me a long time to come up with something that I wanted to look at; I was willing to put it up on the wall and be unafraid of what anyone said. It developed over the years, and through the hard times. I think when you love something and you come up against frustration, you just work through it.”
In 2019, she reunited with her TV siblings from The Brady Bunch for the HGTV series, A Very Brady Renovation. Plumb is married to technology and business consultant Ken Pace and the pair split their time between Manhattan and Los Angeles.
Get your own piece of Jan Brady history!
If you’ve ever wanted a piece of Jan Brady for your home, now is the time to check out Julien’s Auction on October 2nd for a chance to bring home some iconic “bunch” items. Plumb will showcase a “very Brady” collection of her career archives and personal memorabilia, such as cast-autographed original teleplays of some of the famous Brady Bunch episodes.
Today, Plumb is grateful for all the years she has spent playing Jan. “People don’t actually recognize me on the street anymore because I’m so old,” laughed the 65 year-old multi-talent to Celebrity Parents. “I get a lot of grimacing faces of people thinking they went to school with me or did I sleep with her? But I am happy to have played the part of Jan Brady and I’m happy now creating my paintings which give me so much joy.”
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