`Brady Kid’ Has Grown-up Advice: Maureen McCormick Touts Birth Control

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
March 10, 1994

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

What would Alice say if she heard you were going around the country talking about safe sex and birth control?

“She’d probably say, `Good for you,’ ” said Maureen McCormick, the actress who portrayed Marcia Brady on “The Brady Bunch.”  “Marcia may have been a virgin, but obviously I’m not.”

Obviously, since McCormick and her husband have a 4-year-old daughter, Natalie.

Natalie had something in common with the students McCormick addressed Tuesday as part of the educational seminar “Birth Control Matters in Chicago”:  None of them were even born when “The Brady Bunch” debuted.

Dressed in jeans, sneakers and an oversize Northwestern sweatshirt, McCormick was greeted by loud cheers at Northwestern University’s McCormick Auditorium.

“First of all, I’d like to thank you for naming the theater after me,” she said, getting a big laugh.  “That’s really sweet.  You didn’t have to, but thanks.”

Since last summer – when she was approached to participate by Upjohn Co., which produces one of the contraceptives highlighted in the seminars – McCormick has been touring the country to talk to students about birth-control options. Spunky Dr. Elizabeth Kennard provided the meat of the seminar; McCormick’s 10-minute speech was less informative but more personal.

“Of all people, I’ll bet that you never thought I would be the person talking to you about birth control,” McCormick said.  “Well, not too long ago, I never thought I would be in Chicago for that reason either.  But I am, and the reason is I was really shocked to learn how widespread the problem of unintended pregnancy is in this country.”

Composed equally of young men and women, the students participated in a Q&A session that followed McCormick’s speech, directing most of their questions to Kennard.

When she suggested using Saran Wrap in a pinch to protect partners during oral sex, students tittered nervously.

McCormick lightened the moment, quipping, “Learn something new every day.”

One investigative-reporter-in-training came well prepared to skewer the eldest Brady girl, reading his question to McCormick: “Several weeks ago, you appeared on `Herman’s Head,’ a show that deals with the male sexual drive. . . . I was wondering if you saw any conflict of interest between your appearing on that show and then . . . talking about sharing the responsibilities of contraception.”

McCormick merely replied, “It’s TV and it’s humor, and I think people can appreciate it for that.”

The actress said she will juggle her seminar duties for “Birth Control Matters” through the end of the year with an upcoming tour to promote her country music CD, which is slated for a July release.

“I’m really excited about the album,” she said backstage after the seminar. “It’ll be my debut singing, which is great.”

Not quite.  Remember “Time to Change” with Peter’s pubescent voice cracking on the chorus? Or how about the “na na na na na na” portion of “Keep On”?

“Well, those weren’t solo songs,” McCormick said, laughing. “They were the Brady kids.  And that’s not me anymore.”

Alice would have been proud.


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