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The Fall 2009 issue of esperanza, the new anxiety and depression magazine, features an interview with Maureen McCormick. As Marcia Brady, she was the popular teen with the perfect smile. But in real life, McCormick spent decades hiding dark secrets and deep sadness.

Maureen McCormick: Dropping the Act

With all her secrets out in the open, Maureen McCormick no longer has to hide behind her 'perfect smile'

November 23, 2009

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. That famous catch phrase said it all. How wonderful to be Marcia Brady, wholesome girl next door, center of attention, object of envy to her younger sister Jan and countless girls watching her on TV.

esperanza magazine Fall 2009 CoverBut while she played the happy, popular teen on The Brady Bunch, actress Maureen McCormick's real youth was far from that sitcom world of light-hearted conflicts and innocent family antics. 

The actress was 13 when The Brady Bunch debuted on ABC in 1969, and she matured along with her character during the show's five-year run. On air, she was the darling with long blonde hair, blue eyes and a sweet smile, the "Miss Perfect" that viewers adored. Meanwhile, she hid her private struggles with anxiety, sadness, insecurity and dark family secrets.

"As a teenager, I had no idea that few people are everything they present to the outside world," she has said. "Yet there I was, hiding the reality of my life behind the unreal perfection of Marcia Brady. No one suspected the fear that gnawed at me even as I lent my voice to the chorus of Bradys singing 'It's a Sunshine Day.'"

McCormick's home life was by no means Brady-esque. Her mercurial father abused and cheated on her mother; of her three older brothers, one battled drug addictions and another was mentally challenged. Her grandmother died in a psychiatric hospital from syphilis and her mother, who contracted the disease at birth, struggled with shame her whole life. McCormick recalls that in inheriting those secrets, she took the "dread, shame and fear" for her own as well—along with the lurking belief that she, too, would go insane and end up in a mental institution.  

"So much was going on behind the fake smile," she writes in her tell-all memoir Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice (HarperCollins, 2008), now out in paperback. She goes on to recount her litany of demons: bulimia, drug addictions, paranoia and depression.

Set adrift when The Brady Bunch ended, she took up a hard-partying lifestyle in Hollywood that played havoc with her personal life and acting career…

Read the full article, "Maureen McCormick: Dropping the Act." from esperanza magazine