Susan Olsen Played Cindy on "The Brady Bunch." See Her Now at 60.
Find out what she's been up to since her days as a '70s TV star.
At this point, you know the story: lovely lady, three very lovely girls, all of them with hair of gold. The Brady Bunch theme song really laid it all out there, and it was our first introduction to youngest daughter Cindy, noted for being "in curls." We watched Susan Olsen grow up over the years: When she started the series, she was not quite eight years old, and was 12 when the show ended, but she played the part in multiple sequel series through her teens and 20s. Now, she has a different career entirely. Read on to see find out what Olsen has been up to since the '70s, and to see what she's doing now.
Susan Olsen had TV and movie roles before being cast on The Brady Bunch.
Though she was not quite eight when she joined the cast of The Brady Bunch, Cindy was not Olsen's first role. She'd appeared on shows like Gunsmoke and Julia, and she had a small singing part in the Elvis Presley movie The Trouble With Girls. But Cindy Brady became the role that defined her career: She played the character from the series' debut in 1969 to its cancellation in 1974—and then for years thereafter.
Olsen played Cindy again in the 1976 variety show The Brady Bunch Hour, 1981's The Brady Brides, and the short-lived 1990 dramedy series The Bradys. The one time she didn't reprise the role? That was 1988's made-for-TV movie A Very Brady Christmas, during which time she was on her honeymoon. But in a 1993 interview with The Age (via MeTV), Olsen also said it came down to being paid less than her fictional sisters. "I was asking for way less than the two other girls wanted, but they still wouldn't give it to me," she said.
She's had a few other acting roles, but mostly works as a radio host.
Aside from playing Cindy in spin-offs and revivals, Olsen has taken on a handful of other acting roles since her days as a child star. She appeared on the series Pacific Blue and The Young and the Restless, and has also been in TV movies—most recently, 2021's Blending Christmas.
But Olsen has spent most of her adult life as a radio host. "I started doing radio in 1995," she told Fox News in a 2019 interview. "In terms of entertainment, it was always my favorite medium because I could just be myself." At the time of the interview, Olsen was hosting Sunday Night Live on KABC Radio, but her most notable gig was co-hosting Two Chicks Talkin' Politics on LA Talk Radio. The Washington Post reported that she was fired for offensive remarks in 2016, though Olsen told Fox News that story was not true.
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Olsen has come to appreciate her Brady Bunch roots.
There was a time when Olsen hated The Brady Bunch. "I never thought I would say this because when I was younger I was very rebellious and I really hated the fact that I was in such a wholesome show with American values and family values," she said at a 2019 event (via Fox News). "But guess what—now I'm so proud of that."
She also said that playing such an iconic role as a child has helped open doors for her, even after she decided to stop pursuing acting. "As far as careers go, you know, Cindy Brady has certainly been a good ambassador," Olsen continued. "She opens doors, people have a nice feeling about me and they may not know why. [They say], 'Gee, I just feel like I grew up with you.'"
And she's reconnected with her TV siblings.
Just like a real family, the Brady Bunch cast didn't always get along. In a 2020 interview with news.com.au, she even tattled on co-stars Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb, saying there was behind-the-scenes drama involving them. "I think it's kind of petty," Olsen said (via People). "From day one with these two I have always been in the middle, and now it's at the point where there isn't even a desire to communicate through me."
But whatever differences the actors have, they've moved past them enough to come together for a number of reunions, including the 2019 series A Very Brady Renovation on HGTV. And the bonds that they shared were also real—despite moments of strife. "I say in order to have immortality, you have to have a soul and the soul is love. And I think that the love that was shown on the show, it was genuine between all of us cast members and I think people pick up on that," Olsen told Fox News.