‘The Brady Bunch’: Maureen McCormick Reveals Who Had the First ‘On-Set Romance’

The Brady Bunch brought one of America’s first blended families to the small screen. Each week from 1969 to 1974, viewers got to see the goings-on of newlyweds Mike (Robert Reed) and Carol (Florence Henderson) with their six kids: Greg (Barry Williams), Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Peter (Christopher Knight), Jan (Eve Plumb), Bobby (Mike Lookinland), and Cindy (Susan Olsen). Alice (Ann B. Davis), the family housekeeper, helped keep everyone on track.

The young actors portraying the Brady kids were all on the cusp of their teenage years, which meant crushes and couplings became inevitable.

Cast of 'The Brady Bunch': Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Ann B. Davis, Florence Henderson, and Robert Reed
Cast of ‘The Brady Bunch’: Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Ann B. Davis, Florence Henderson, and Robert Reed | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives

Marcia Brady spills the tea

In her memoir Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice, McCormick described the early bond among the cast members when the series began. With three young boys and three young girls constantly together, it was only a matter of time before flirtations turned to kid versions of romantic interludes.

“Susie and Mike had the first on-set romance,” McCormick revealed. “They snuck off into the dog house and made out. Once Eve and I threw Mike into our dressing room and locked him inside with Susie. By the time we shot the eighth episode … Susan and Mike had professed their love.”

According to McCormick, the cute couple felt so strongly for each other they pretended to tie the knot.

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“I officiated at a fake marriage ceremony outside our dressing room,” McCormick shared, “asking if he took her as his awfully wedded wife.”

Susan Olsen sets the record straight

Both 8 years old on the show at the time, Olsen and Lookinland didn’t know what hot and heavy meant. Olsen revealed on Oprah: Where Are They Now? that the infamous dog house story was completely embellished.

“We didn’t know how to make out,” she said of her and Lookinland. “We would just kiss each other and go ‘I love you, I love you’ and hug.”

Still, her former TV brother maintains a special place in her life. When asked in a 2019 interview who she considered the cast mate she was closest with, Olsen didn’t hesitate on her response.

“It was Mike. He’s my favorite,” Olsen told the New York Post. “I named my son after him.”

Lookinland echoed Olsen’s sentiments, sharing his impression of his TV sister when they were young.

“Susan and I were very buddy-buddy and hung out together,” Lookinland explained. “She has a real sick sense of humor and I thought, ‘She’s a little off’ and I thought it was my duty to keep her laughing. So we hit it off on that basis.”

True romance materialized for Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams

Though Lookinland and Olsen shared what would be considered puppy love, McCormick and Williams started a real romance. With McCormick almost 16 and Williams almost 18, their years of flirtation came to a head while on location in Hawaii.

“It was a picture-perfect Hawaiian moment,” McCormick wrote. “As we neared our hotel, we turned toward each other, and kissed. We couldn’t hold back any longer. It was our first kiss, and it was long, passionate and deep. It was wonderful, too.”

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The Brady Bunch alum described their coupling as an “on-again, off-again game” during their time on the show, never materializing into a committed relationship. Yet McCormick and Williams are still friends to this day.