Olsen in 2009
Susan Marie Olsen
August 14, 1961
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Susan Marie Olsen (born August 14, 1961) is an American actress, singer, voice actress, animal welfare advocate, artist, and former radio host. Olsen is known for her role as Cindy Brady, the youngest Brady child in the sitcom The Brady Bunch for the full run of the show, from 1969 to 1974.
Olsen was born in Santa Monica, California, to Lawrence and DeLoice Olsen, the youngest of four children. Her siblings are: Larry (23 years older), Christopher (15 years older), and Diane (5 years older). Christopher was also a child actor perhaps best known for his role in the 1956 feature film The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).
Olsen landed a number of supporting roles in television, most notably in Ironside, Gunsmoke, and Julia, and appeared in the Elvis Presley movie The Trouble With Girls (1968) as a squeaky-clean singer in a singing contest.
The Brady Bunch
At just under age eight, Olsen was cast as Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch. As an adult, Olsen has said that portraying Cindy made friendships difficult for her as a child. She most disliked the season two "tattletale" episode, in which Cindy incessantly tattles on her siblings. Because of the episode, she was shunned by real-life peers, who did not understand the difference between actors and their characters.
Olsen has appeared in all Brady Bunch reunion movies with the exception of A Very Brady Christmas (1988), which was filmed when she and her first husband Steve Ventimiglia were on their honeymoon. In that movie, Cindy Brady was played by actress Jennifer Runyon. Olsen reprised her role as Cindy Brady in the short-lived CBS spin-off series The Bradys.
In 2007, Olsen and her fellow cast members were honored with the TV Pop Culture Award on the TV Land Awards, one of the few awards The Brady Bunch has ever won.
After The Brady Bunch
As a teen, Olsen was the spokesgirl for Sindy doll, made by Marx Toys from the mid-1970s. As an adult, Olsen moved into the graphic design business and in 1998 briefly marketed a brand of glow-in-the-dark shoes for Converse. She also worked as a talk show host at the Los Angeles radio station KLSX from 1995 to 1996 with Ken Ober, and co-hosted and co-wrote another radio show with comedian Allan Havey at Comedy World in 2000.
She appeared in episode 26 of Cartoon Network's talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast, "Switcheroo", with Cassandra Peterson as "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark". Olsen has also been an advocate for migraine sufferers since 1998. She described her headaches on Larry King Live.
An urban legend claimed that Olsen had become an adult film star. In a late 1990s television interview, Olsen stated that her "porn" connection was that she created space ship sound effects for a porn film called Love Probe from a Warm Planet. She did this as a favor for a friend who worked in the technical side of the business. She went on to state that perhaps the legend got started because the star of the porn film Crocodile Blondee, which was widely distributed among troops during the Persian Gulf crisis, was rumored to be her. She added that since the porn star was very pretty, she did not try too hard to dispel the rumor.
In the fall of 2008, Olsen appeared on Fox Reality's Gimme My Reality Show, in which celebrities compete to win their own reality show. She used this vehicle to make a statement about animal rescue, a cause with which she is thoroughly involved. On June 6, 2009, Olsen thanked retired game show host and animal rights activist Bob Barker when The Bradys accepted an honor at the GSN Awards. As an animal welfare advocate, she also serves on the board of directors of the nonprofit organization Precious Paws, a rescue group. Olsen personally cares for unweaned homeless kittens until they are old enough to adopt.
On September 1, 2009, Olsen released the coffee table book Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour which celebrates the 1976–77 television variety show The Brady Bunch Hour. In addition to many color photos and artwork, the volume features over 100 interviews with Brady Bunch cast members, producers Sid and Marty Krofft, Sherwood Schwartz, Bruce Vilanch, Rip Taylor, and Paul Shaffer.
In September 2010, Olsen made a guest appearance on The Young and the Restless playing Mrs. Liza Morton, the owner of a preschool. In 2011, she appeared in season 3, episode 43 of The Biography Channel's reality show Celebrity Ghost Stories.
In December 2016, Olsen was fired from her radio show, "Two Chicks Talkin' Politics" on LA Talk Radio, as a result of engaging in a feud with openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting. Responding to comments Acord-Whiting had made about her on another station, Olsen unleashed an extensive and profane rant against him, accusing him of cowardice. Acord-Whiting accused Olsen of homophobia for the remarks (which included repeated use of the word "faggot") and successfully lobbied to have Olsen fired.
As an animal welfare advocate, Olsen has created another art collection, The Art of Rescue. She donates the proceeds to assist animals in rescue organizations until they are able to be adopted.
In July 2012, Olsen was one of a limited number of artists invited to show in Art with an Agenda: An Exhibit Inspired by Kelly Thomas at the PAS Gallery in Fullerton, California. All the art on display was inspired by the life and circumstances surrounding the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless, schizophrenic, 37-year-old man who was beaten by members of the Fullerton Police Department on July 5, 2011. Olsen's piece, titled "Still Life," shows a half-eaten donut in a puddle of blood beside a lit flashlight.
|1969||The Trouble with Girls||Auditioning Singer|
|1995||The Brady Bunch Movie||Reporter for The Daily Tattler||Scenes deleted|
|2015||Mama Claus, Deck the Halls with Guts||Mama Claus|
|1968||Ironside||Tracy Richards||"Barbara Who"|
|1968||Julia||Pamela||"Paint Your Waggedorn"|
|1968–69||Gunsmoke||Marianne Johnson||"Abelia", "A Man Called 'Smith'"|
|1969–1974||The Brady Bunch||Cindy Brady||Main role|
|1970||The Boy Who Stole the Elephant||Lucy Owens||Disney TV film|
|1972||The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie||Cindy Brady (voice)||"The Brady Kids on Mysterious Island"|
|1972–73||The Brady Kids||Cindy Brady (voice)||Main role|
|1976–77||The Brady Bunch Hour||Cindy Brady||Main role|
|1981||The Brady Brides||Cindy Brady||Regular role|
|1984||Divorce Court||Litigant||TV series|
|1990||The Bradys||Cindy Brady||Main role|
|1999||Pacific Blue||Cindy Russell||"Stargazer"|
|2010||The Young and the Restless||Liza Morton||2 episodes|
|2012||The Great Halloween Puppy Adventure||Rachel||TV film|
|2013||Holiday Road Trip||Edna||TV film|
|2013–2016||Child of the '70s||Nickel Laundry||TV series|
|2019||A Very Brady Renovation||Susan Olsen||TV series|
- Moran, Elizabeth (1995). "The Cast, Then and Now". Bradymania: Everything You Always Wanted to Know and a Few Things You Probably Didn't (25th Anniversary ed.). Adams Media. p. 107. ISBN 1558504184.
Susan Marie Olsen, the youngest of the Brady clan, is also the youngest of the Olsen clan. Born in Santa Monica, California, on August 14, 1961, to Lawrence and DeLoice ("Dee") Olsen…
- "VH1 Names Gary Coleman the Greatest Kid Star". PRNewswire.com. June 9, 2005. Archived from the original on November 29, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- Olsen, Susan [@susanolsen888] (December 12, 2012). "I've always loved the porn rumor. I actually did contribute to the sound track of 'Love Probe From a Warm Planet'" (Tweet). Retrieved June 30, 2020 – via Twitter.
- Bitette, Nicole (December 10, 2016). "'Brady Bunch' actress Susan Olsen fired from L.A. radio show hosting gig after homophobic rant". Daily News. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
- Hautman, Nicolas (December 10, 2016). "Brady Bunch's Susan Olsen fired as radio host after homophobic rant". US Magazine. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
- "'Brady Bunch' Star Susan Olsen Brings Her Love of Fluff to Somerville". unionsquaremain.org. August 8, 2011. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016.
- "Art with an Agenda – Inspired by Kelly Thomas". 2PAS.org. July 6, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- Bose, Lilledeshan. "Art with an Agenda: An Exhibit Inspired by Kelly Thomas". KCET.org. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- Ponsi, Lou. "Kelly Thomas' life, death are focus of graphic exhibit". ocregister.com. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- Orange Juice. "A Very Kelly Thomas Weekend – Art With an Agenda Friday night, and The Adolescents Free Saturday!". Orangejuiceblog.com. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
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