This is the story of the middle Brady who managed to stand out among some very lovely girls. Eve Plumb played the child most prone to feeling overshadowed, yet ironically she came to The Brady Bunch already with experience in the industry. But the hardships of childhood that plagued Jan would manifest in Plumb's personal life as she contended with confronting child star stigma and finding her path after such a defining role. Just what happened to the rising star after the classic sitcom? Eve Aline Plumb was born on April 29, 1958, her native Burbank putting her at the doorstep of Hollywood immediately. Her father was recording company executive Neely Plumb and her mother was dancer Flora Plumb. Herself one of three children, Plumb managed to stand out thanks to her early work in TV commercials starting in '66. An agent specializing in representing children just so happened to move in next door and job after job came to her. It didn't stop at commercials and The Brady Bunch was not even her first foray into acting. That came with multiple appearances in The Big Valley, followed by The Virginian and Lassie in the same year, then Family Affair and Gunsmoke. Though Plumb does not remember much from the latter Western, as she was very young, she later discovered her costume had actually previously been worn by Shirley Temple. She was already appearing in quite a few classics like a Hollywood regular, and she was not yet a teen. This would help her career immensely and pit her against a dangerous stigma faced too often by the industry's most vulnerable. Jan Brady and Eve Plumb, Eve and Jan Eve Plumb was a frequent face in TV commercials in the '60s / YouTube screenshot 40 commercials and almost half a dozen show appearances later, Plumb became known as Jan Brady, the middle child burdened with envy of Marcia. To combat these feelings of inadequacy, Jan was always looking for her own defining trait, some big hook that helped her stand out from the other lovely girls with hair of gold and Mike Brady's own three boys. Jan would, eventually, find salvation in art and it so happened life would imitate art for Plumb decades later. As Jan Brady, Plumb became the definitive middle child on TV and risked being treated like one in her career / Everett Collection RELATED: ‘The Brady Bunch’ Cast Then And Now 2022 Just like Jan Brady tried and stand out against the sea of Bradys, Plumb found herself struggling to get others to separate the actor from the character. Plumb returned to the role of Jan multiple times over the decades for The Brady Kids, The Brady Brides, A Very Brady Christmas, and The Bradys. There were plenty of other projects peppered in there, including the role of Beth in the Little Women television miniseries. But work moved like a pendulum. "Things go in cycles," she said. "You have down times, up times, busy times, not-so-busy times." But, she had to reason, "work was work." Stardom stigma DAWN: PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE RUNAWAY, Eve Plumb, 1976 / Everett Collection Plumb and her career came to exist in a confusing purgatory; she was seen as the clean, indignant Jan but was relied on for even more nuanced roles. "I had so much success as a child, but once you age out of being the cute kid, then what?" Plumb wondered. Then came new opportunities. This was evidenced well when she starred in Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway (1976) as a runaway prostitute. "I’ve been acting since I was six years old and I’ve lived in Hollywood most of my life," she reminded the press. I think playing a hooker was fun. I certainly don’t feel bad about it. It was great to pretend to be tough, because it was so different from playing Jan." Indeed, reaching adulthood continued this bewildering dichotomy of work and inactivity; the acting jobs she could take at 18 and older increased and she certainly was bringing a lot of experience to every project she joined. But when Brady specials continued popping up over the years, producers looked her way. While Plumb accepted reunion events and specials, "she wasn’t willing to become Jan again for five years," says pop culture expert Geoffrey Mark. LITTLE WOMEN, standing l-r: Meredith Baxter Birney (aka Meredith Baxter), Ann Dusenberry, seated l-r: Eve Plumb, Dorothy McGuire, Susan Dey, 1978 / Everett Collection Plumb's decision to reject certain Brady projects opened the door for Geri Reischl to become Jan; Reischl's own career mirrored Plumb's to an extent, as she too had a background in commercials and even appeared in Gunsmoke like Plumb. Some of Plumb's Brady avoidance - the part not tied to being forever tied down as Jan - came from a dissatisfaction with the scripts that was shared with costar Maureen McCormick, Marcia herself. "We also wanted more mature scripts," wrote McCormick in her autobiography. McCormick even had ideas for pots to follow, like "Imagine if the writers had dealt with Greg worrying about the draft, Carol and Mike spicing up their sex life by skinny-dipping with the neighbors, Marcia hiding a boy in her bedroom, or Jan staying out all night after seeing a rock concert." Even when Brady scripts did not mature the characters as fast as the cast would like, the actors themselves got into their own brand of mischief as they grew up together. On a special cruise, McCormick revealed, "Eve and I shared a room. We drank rum and Cokes on board the ship, and once in Europe, we enjoyed wine. We could have called ourselves the Boozy Bunch." She also rebelled by taping an episode without wearing a bra and convinced Plumb to do the same, explaining, "It was also our subtle way of telling the producers we were too old for the same stuff." The ways life imitates art - and does not THE BRADYS, Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Leah Ayres, Barry Williams, Ann B. Davis, Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, 1990. (c) Paramount Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection / Everett Collection Growing up as TV sisters, practically living alongside one another as each goes through the angsts of growing up, Plum and McCormick could have easily ended up locked in a feud; plenty of adult actors became rivals behind the scenes. And audiences were sure, as each actress continued with her respective career, somewhere down the line they would have to reconcile. But, Plumb assured, there's no need to fix what isn't broken between her and McCormick. "You know, we’re all grown-up now, obviously," she reminded fans, "and we all get along like real people." Just what has adulthood looked like for Plumb? Its still been work in the arts, albeit sometimes of a different brand, and with all the victories and follies of the industry. Most memorable for Plumb has been the child star stigma. "I keep thinking is going to end," said Plumb. "But there’s other times when I realize it’s always going to be with me." It manifests when any of her other projects, which thinned comparatively in the '90s, are discussed in the context of her work on The Brady Bunch. All the while, she had guest roles on numerous shows even before the idea of Jan was dreamed up. A VERY BRADY RENOVATION, from left: Jasmine Roth, Karen E. Laine, Mina Starsiak, Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Leanne Ford, Steve Ford, Lara Spencer, Jonathan Scott, Drew Scott, (Season 1, premiered Sept. 9, 2019). photo: ©HGTV/Scripps / courtesy Everett Collection The '90s were not a total dry spell for Plumb; she did find love and married business and technology consultant Ken Pace in '95. This decade was also the optimal time to branch out. For this, she pursued painting. Her home in Laguna Beach doubled as a studio, and though her TV persona found her standout skill in painting as well, Plumb succeeds in making it her own, a second defining trait independent of both acting and Jan Brady. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Eve Plumb (@theeveplumb) "I started painting because I needed something to do in between jobs," Plumb explained. I just kept at it and asking other artists until I liked it well enough to put it up on the wall." Just like she went into her longest television job with years of experience, Plumb tore into HGTV's A Very Brady Renovation with two decades of painting to her name. Where is Eve Plumb today? Actress Eve Plumb after Jan Brady / ImageCollect While the nostalgic building project - in which she helps Restored by the Fords hosts Leanne and Steve Ford recreate the Brady home - was about returning life to iconic setpieces, Plumb's paintings are usually about capturing a single moment in still life portraits. Everyday objects star with the simple beauty of the world on full display in her gallery of paintings and lithographs, which hang in the recreated Brady house and can be viewed on her Instagram page on demand. This artistry has also manifested into some useful household decor thanks to her line, PlumbGoods. From bags to mugs, keychains and pillows, Plumb has put a colorful flower on them all, committing wholeheartedly to her love of art. Just as Jan Brady was able to shine through art, Plumb has plenty of work to show off / Instagram But, a perpetual fan of acting - especially on TV - Plumb can still be seen on the small screen. Some of her latest credits include hits like Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck in 2017, along with 2020's Bull. She's expected to appear in a film titled Bagdad, Florida. Turning 64 this spring, Plumb has certainly proven to television viewers what she wanted them to come away with when they see her diverse set of skills: "I can do other things."