From TV icon to real life: Here is what happened to Cindy Brady

Susan Olsen, aka Cindy Brady, is on point when she says people regularly come up to her and say, “it feels like I’ve grown up with you!”. The Brady Bunch fans (and non-fans) have watched Olsen transform from a young girl into a teenager, young adult, and now a grown lady with many years of experience.

It has been over 40 years since the popular television series wrapped up, and everyone has gone their separate ways. As for Susan Olsen, she’s been in and out of the spotlight since leaving the American drama series.

From missing the sitcom’s reunion to death rumours to getting married and fired, here’s the real story of what happened to Cindy from The Brady Bunch.

Susan Olsen Was Born For Television

Susan Olsen joined The Brady Bunch cast when she was just about to turn eight years. Young as she was, this was not her first television role; the child actor acted in Gunsmoke and Julia and even sang in The Trouble With Girls, an Elvis Presley movie. Olsen was truly the definition of a child star.

That said, her character as the lovely girl, Cindy Brady, on the popular American sitcom propelled her to greater fame. The Brady Bunch aired for five seasons from 1969 to 1974, with syndicated reruns available to date.

Olsen Appeared In All Brady Bunch Reruns

After wrapping up in 1974, The Brady Bunch spawned several other shows and films such as the Brady Bunch Hour, The Brady Brides, The Bradys, and of course, A Very Brady Christmas. Other spinoffs included The Brady Girls Get Married, A Very Brady Sequel, and The Brady Bunch in The White House.

Olsen continued with the role of Cindy in all these spinoffs except for A Very Brady Christmas, a made-for-TV movie (1988). Her absence from the television film was the talk of the town at the time, with false rumours spreading about Olsen’s death.

What made things worse was that Olsen did not come out immediately to address the fake news about her death. But, she had a good excuse for not showing up and not addressing the crazy rumours: she was too busy with her destination honeymoon in Jamaica to care about what people were saying or which show she was missing out on.

Money was also part of the reason Olsen famously skipped The Very Brady Christmas reunion. In a 1993 interview with The Age, the actress said, “I was asking to be paid significantly less than the other two ladies (her fictional sisters) had asked for, and they still would not pay me that.”

Despite her two fictional sisters, Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb defending her, the show producers didn’t barge. Instead, the studio opted to find an Olsen lookalike to replace her.

She added, “My agent at the time called telling me that the studio was looking for a Susan-Olsen lookalike.”

The fact that they refused to increase her pay sealed the decision for Olsen not to show up. She would not cancel her honeymoon for a show that would not compensate her fairly. After all, she wanted to start her marriage on the right foot as she really had her heart set on it,” she added.

Olsen Gradually Moved Away From The Acting Spotlight

Since her days as Cindy on The Brady Bunch, Susan Olsen has been quite a decent actress, and one expected that her star would shine brighter with time.

Although she did appear in a few more shows in her teen and young adult years, such as Pacific Blue and The Young and The Restless, Olsen didn’t aggressively pursue an acting career. Her most recent role was in the TV movie: Blending Christmas (2021).

For most of her adult life, Olsen was a radio host after starting her career in radio in 1995. She played an iconic role as the host of Sunday Night Live on KABC Radio, but she is most known for co-hosting Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics, which aired on LA Talk Radio.

She Got Involved With Arts and Politics

According to Susan Olsen, the arts have always fascinated her. As a young adult, she studied graphic design, which opened up a few opportunities to express herself and showcase her talents.

Olsen was among the few chosen to participate in the elitist art exhibit Art with an Agenda: An Exhibit Inspired by Kelly Thomas. Her “Still Life” piece was an impactful protest against mental disability and homelessness. Kelly Thomas, a homeless and mentally unstable man, was her muse for the project.

The former child star is vocal about issues affecting society, including racism, homophobia, poverty, and equal rights for women. She even openly supported Robert Reed, her dad in The Brady Bunch show, who had been a closeted gay man for a long time. Ironically, Olsen was accused of spreading dangerous and inaccurate political information supporting former President Trump.

Olsen Was Reportedly Fired From Her Radio Job

Susan Olsen was a radio talk co-host for LA Talk Radio’s Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics for a long time. But, news broke out that she had been suddenly fired after getting into an abusive confrontation with the openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting after she had hosted him on the popular radio station.

At the time, Fox News reported that Acord-Whiting criticized Olsen for spreading dangerous and false information supporting Donald Trump.

In a since-deleted Facebook post, Acord wrote, “It is irresponsible for the LA Talk Radio to let a Trump fanatic host one of their programs and spread lies unchecked. Susan Olsen spews outrageous information; it is unprofessional and dangerous, and we are not talking about foreign policy or taxation; we’re talking about malicious and idiotic information.”

Olsen responded to Acord’s accusation by using an anti-gay slur. Acord publicly shared screenshots of Olsen’s abusive messages. According to media reports, Olsen’s reply included offensive wording such as “What a true piece of s-t you are! Lying f- -t!”

LA Talk Radio immediately fired Olsen, emphasizing that the studio did not tolerate hateful speech and had to let go of the radio host who had veered off the company’s values.