AKA Susan Marie Olsen
Birthplace: Santa Monica, CA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Radio Personality
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Cindy on The Brady Bunch
As the cutest kid in her kindergarten class, Susan Olsen was picked to appear on The Pat Boone Show and sing The Monkees' "I'm A Believer". She went on to make commercials for Downey and Clairol, and at 8 had a bit role in Elvis Presley's next-to-last film, The Trouble with Girls (and How to Get Into It). Then came The Brady Bunch, and she has been "Cindy Brady" in the public's mind ever since.
Even as a young girl, though, Olsen had the good sense to hate her character on The Brady Bunch. As "the youngest one, in curls", Cindy was a tattle-tale with a lisp who always seemed like a first-grader, even as the actress entered adolescence. "When I did Brady Bunch, I was 7 years old. By the end, I was 8", she says wryly -- the show, of course, ran five seasons. The lisp was real, a speech impediment Olsen overcame at the age of 19, by attending a special "S clinic" while studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. With the exception of occasional "Cindy Brady" work, she hasn't acted since the mid-1980s.
As a graphic designer, she developed a line of glow-in-the-dark animal-print sneakers for Converse shoes. She has also worked as a radio hostess, briefly played in a rock band, and served as spokesperson for Migraine Headache Awareness Month.
Despite persistent rumors that Olsen became a porn actress, her connection to the porn industry did not include acting, and was not sexy. As a favor for a friend, she used her rock'n'roll sound equipment to create some cheesy science fiction sound effects ("it wasn't moaning and groaning") for a porn film set in outer space. There is some doubt about whether her sound effects were even used in the film.
In the Shelley Long-Gary Cole send-up The Brady Bunch Movie, Olsen did a cameo as a reporter, but her scene was cut from the film.
At the height of Bill Clinton's sex scandal, Olsen appeared on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect, where she said, "I just don't get it. I don't understand why there's been such a huge effort to make the leader of our country look like a fool to the rest of the world. I think that weakens us as a country."
Olsen's older brother Christopher was also a child actor, best remembered as Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day's kidnapped kid in Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Brother: Christopher Olsen (actor, The Man Who Knew Too Much, b. 1947)
Husband: Steve Ventimiglia (musician-kickboxer, m. 1988, div. 1990)
Husband: Mitch (medical equipment salesman, m. 1995, div.)
University: Pierce College Los Angeles
Risk Factors: Former Smoker, Marijuana
The Brady Bunch Cindy Brady (1969-74)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Brady Girls Get Married (6-Feb-1981)
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