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The Real Cast of the Brady Bunch Led Extremely Tragic Lives Behind The Scenes

The Brady Bunch cast won the hearts of America with their poignant family relationships, '70s style, and timeless life lessons. Has there ever been a show as wholesome, as precious, and as widely loved?

The Brady family certainly may be timeless – we've all caught the reruns on TV Land nearly 50 years after the fact – but it turns out, the real-life Bradys aren't so wholesome at all. In fact, their real lives are somewhat tragic (unless you're Peter Brady, and in that case, thank your lucky stars for VH1).

Behind the scenes of The Brady Bunch, Brady brothers and sisters found themselves embroiled in high school love triangles and addiction, the father was forced to hide his sexuality, and some struggled with alcoholism. Some of the kids reported adolescences so challenging that it's a wonder the show even lasted five seasons. Not everyone's personal lives held so much sadness, but the behind-the-scenes stories paint quite a different portrait than the wholesome happy family you remember.

  • Photo: ABC

    Cindy's Hair Fell Out In Chunks After It Was Bleached For Almost Every Episode

    Hair was of the utmost importance on The Brady Bunch – after all, half the aesthetic was the charming and perfectly paired three dark-haired boys and three blond girls. Mike Lookinland (Bobby Brady) was forced to dye his hair dark brown to cover up his natural strawberry blonde locks. Susan Olsen (Cindy) was a natural blonde, but was deemed not blonde enough.

    The eight-year-old star was reportedly forced to bleach her hair constantly to the point that it started falling out in clumps.

  • Photo: ABC

    Cindy Grew Cannabis Later In Life

    Though Susan Olson never really dabbled in drug use, the actress admitted that she sort of became something of a dealer later in life. Olsen started growing marijuana with her husband, which was illegal in the state of California at the time. 

    When asked about her rumored history as a weed dealer, the actress more or less owned up during an interview to Australian news.

    I guess technically, but I was really a [cannabis] grower, my husband at the time and I grew it hydroponically. I have never really enjoyed smoking it, it makes me very paranoid. But it was my husband’s idea. It was really fascinating and I’ve always been into 'gardening' and it’s such a complicated, wonderfully fascinating plant.

    Then again, Olsen also cited their illicit hobby as one of the reasons she left her husband.

  • Photo: ABC

    Tiger Was Run Over By A Car During Filming And Replaced With An Untrained Rescue

    The tiniest Brady was tragically killed and replaced with an untrained look-alike. The real Tiger, the family dog, got hit by a car in the middle of filming during the first season. Not knowing what to do, the dog's grieving trainer stopped by a pound on the way to set and picked up a look-alike.

    The untrained rescue didn't follow directions, and eventually producers nailed his collar to the ground to keep him in place, and then ditched the idea of a dog unless it was essential to the plot. Tiger's doghouse is a set staple, even if the pup only appears in select episodes.

  • Photo: ABC

    Marcia Used To Shoplift

    Susan Olsen who played Cindy on The Brady Brunch dished on her costar Maureen McCormick, who played her older sister Marcia on the show. According to Olsen, McCormick used to shoplift all the time in between working on set, and then when she got caught, she'd blame the pal she'd enticed to join her in her petty theft.