We all remember the middle Brady sister, Jan, who could never quite escape the shadow of her “perfect” older sibling. With her iconic glasses and even more iconic lament, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”, Eve Plumb’s portrayal of Jan Brady was the stuff of TV legend.
But after the Brady house lights dimmed and the astroturf lawn was rolled up, many of us were left pondering a new threefold repetition: “Where, where, where?” Where did Eve Plumb vanish to in the vast world of Hollywood?
In Burbank, California, on April 29th, 1958, Eve Aline Plumb was born to parents Flora June (Dobry), a dancer, and Neely Ben Plumb, a recording company executive. Plumb has two siblings, a sister Flora, and a brother Benjamin.
Eve started out as a child actor in commercials in 1966, which was the way things went back then. Her first on-screen role was a quick cameo in one episode of the TV series My Brother the Angel in 1965. She stayed a busy, following that up with a three-episode stint on the series The Big Valley, one episode on The Virginian, and one episode on the show Lassie.
Some of her other earlier work included spots on shows It Takes a Thief, Mannix, Family Affair, and Gunsmoke in 1969. Eve’s next role would be that which would have everyone calling her Jan for the rest of her life.
The Brady Bunch
In 1969, Eve became a member of The Brady Bunch when she joined the cast as the middle daughter, Jan Brady. Always jealous of her older sister Marcia, Eve portrayed the role of the insecure middle daughter in the bunch. Don’t feel too bad for Eve, as her character has the most quoted line from the show when a jealous Jan spat out “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” in retaliation to all of the attention her perfect sister always received.
In all 117 episodes across all five seasons, Eve’s Jan struggled with braces, boys, and getting glasses, making her the favorite among the kids who felt unseen or outcasts in their families or at school. Everything that would make the middle child cringe in a blended family unit was thrown Jan’s way, but we think she handled how we all would have. You go, Jan.
While some actors may not like being known for only one role, Plumb embraced Jan and reprised the character across multiple other shows. She reprised Jan for the 1972 The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie for one episode, for the series The Brady Kids from 1972-1973 for all 22 episodes, for the 1981 series The Brady Brides for all 10 episodes, the TV film A Very Brady Christmas in 1988, and finally, the TV movie The Bradys in 1990.
What did she do after The Brady Bunch?
Plumb has kept a pretty steady acting career going since her time as Jan. Not that she’s starred in huge blockbusters, but you’ll more often than not say to yourself, “hey, I know that face” and then realize it’s Jan Brady. Plumb acted on TV mostly, balancing out guest roles on shows with as many TV films to her name. She also acted in movies after her time on The Brady Bunch ended to pad out her resume.
In an immediate departure from her role as Jan, Eve appeared as a teen prostitute in the TV film Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway in 1976. You saw Eve in an episode of Wonder Woman in 1977 and three episodes each on The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. In 1978 she portrayed Beth March in the TV miniseries Little Women.
In the 80s, Eve had guest roles on hit shows like The Facts of Life, Murder, She Wrote, and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!.
It wasn’t until 1988 that Eve made her feature film debut when she played Kalinga’s Wife in the Keenan Ivory Wayans parody film I’m Gonna Get You Sucka. She was also Mrs. Sigvatssohn in the 1997 black comedy Nowhere and Kris Cleland in the 2013 thriller Blue Rain.
Other popular shows you saw Eve pop up in were That ‘70s Show, All My Children, Days of Our Lives, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
What is Eve Plumb doing now?
One thing that keeps Eve busy these days is her art. She picked up her second career in the 90s and sells her lithographs and paintings at galleries all over the country. She loves the control she has when painting, as it doesn’t require her to sit by the phone waiting for a call back for a role.
But Plumb is still acting. In the last few years, she’s been seen on shows like The Path, Blue Bloods, Crashing, and Bull in 2020.
Eve also has two projects in the works, so you’ll see her back on screen soon. She has one episode of the series Folk, a drama set in New York about singer-songwriters finding their way, and one episode of the animated comedy Praise Petey in pre-production.
Eve was first married in 1979 to Richard Mansfield, but it didn’t last long, and the couple divorced in 1989, having no children. Plumb found love again when she met technology and business consultant Ken Pace. The pair married in 1995 and enjoy the life they’ve built, sans children, splitting their time between Manhattan in New York City where they live primarily, and then off to Los Angeles when Eve has to work.
With the 50th anniversary of when the last time The Brady Bunch gathered us around our couches coming up, we hope to see as much of the cast together to talk about the show where it all started. But until then, you could buy an Eve Plumb work of art or wait for her new projects to come out. Whatever Eve does next, we hope she knows that fans will always have love for Jan, Jan, Jan.