Melody Thomas Scott said she almost played Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch.
The Young and the Restless star, best known for her long-running role as Nikki Newman on the CBS soap, nearly had a sitcom career, but it all came down to a few inches.
Melody, who recently published her memoir, Always Young and Restless: My Life On and Off America’s #1 Daytime Soap, opened up about her near career in a new interview. Not only did she screen test for the Academy Award-winning 1965 film The Sound of Music, but four years later she was very close to being cast as one of the little girls with “hair of gold” on ABC’s The Brady Bunch.
The actress, now 64, said the casting of the eldest Brady daughter came down to her and Maureen McCormick, who ultimately won the part and the hearts of teen boys across the country. The two child actresses often auditioned for the same movies and television shows and were on friendly terms, but Maureen scored the iconic role due to her height.
“I remember being in [show creator] Sherwood Schwartz’s office, and I think every kid in town was out at that interview, as you can imagine,” Melody told Yahoo Entertainment. “They had pencil marks on the wall because Schwartz wanted the [six Brady] kids to go up in a diagonal line, according to height. I don’t remember if I was too tall or too short, but my height was my downfall there.”
Melody also noted in The Brady Bunch pilot, which aired in September 1969, and in subsequent episodes and promotional photos, Schwartz often had the Brady kids “line up in that kind of graduating sequence.”
“So that seemed to be very important to him. Of course, after a few years, the kids all started growing at different rates and they no longer had that nice lineup look.”
In addition to McCormick, The Brady Bunch siblings were played by Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen. All six former child stars reunited for HGTV last year to renovate the house used for the exterior shots on The Brady Bunch, 50 years after the classic sitcom debuted.
While Melody’s lost out on a life-changing prime time gig — had she become a Brady, she likely would have gone on to work on the show’s many spinoffs, TV movies, and even a Saturday morning cartoon — she spent the 1970s logging guest roles on popular shows such as The Waltons and Charlie’s Angels. By 1979 she landed the role of Nikki on The Young and the Restless, and four decades later she remains one of the soap genre’s most beloved stars.