It's not easy to make every guy in a theater instantly fall in love with you while you're onscreen with Claudia Schiffer, but the beautiful and talented Christine Taylor pulls it off.

She has acted to stellar reviews in film, TV, theater, and most impressively, acted really nice when boneheads drove past the set and yelled, "Hey Marcia" while she was preparing for a scene. A gifted physical comedienne, she shocked cast and crew with her willingness to take huge pratfalls, her talent to carry a complicated scene flawlessly, and her amazing ability to remain cheerful at three in the morning when she was handed on-set script changes.

Christine poses with the author and his niece, Sasha. (It'd be a nice-looking photo if the author wasn't in it.)
Christine starred as Marcia Brady in "The Brady Bunch Movie" -- a role she was practically born to play -- and "A Very Brady Sequel." Taylor first took over the role of Marcia Brady onstage, when she was featured in "The Real Live Brady Bunch" for several months toward the end of the show's run in 1992 at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Sherwood Schwartz, who produced the movies as well as the original ABC TV show from 1969-74, said: "When I first saw the young people that were cast for the film, I was amazed... I was especially taken aback by Christine Taylor, who plays Marcia... Not only does she look like the original who was played by Maureen McCormick, she sounds just like her. It's uncanny."¹

It wasn't just about an impersonation, though. Even at that point, Christine was a seasoned comic actor with great vocal and physical skills. One of the biggest laughs in the Brady films comes from her delivery of a simple line, in which her voice drops an octave and she delivers the incredibly sultry line, "Yes, Greg?" to her onscreen stepbrother.

By the time Christine appeared in DBNS, she had also grown into one of the most beautiful woman in the world. So it was easy to overlook her incredible artistic chops and her comic timing, and just look at her. Her skill is the secret weapon-in-plain-sight of this movie. The role of Lily (or "Lili" as it's written in the film's credits) was extremely tough to play, because as the lead, the audience enters this misfit-toy world through her while she propels the comedy... but the punchlines all go to the oddball characters around her. In other words, we needed an extremely hot female version of Jack Benny to ground the nonsensical plot: A confident, charismatic actress who could hold everything together with her screen presence and loveability.

Christine was perfect for the role, because the audience would watch her intensely for an hour and a half, despite being surrounded by supermodels and Playmates of the Year, doing everything they can to make you notice them... and even though absolutely NOTHING was going on story-wise in a movie full of red-herrings and mis-directions. She's the girl next-door type... if you just happened to live next the most beautiful woman in the world.

On the set, we were all in love with her, and she was amazingly patient with us... because we'd all just stare at her. We couldn't stop. We all knew we were doing it, we were all embarrassed by it, and we knew our girlfriends and wives would eventually hate us for it, but we... just... couldn't... stop. She was mesmerizing! (Case in point: at the wrap party, Christine gave this author a thank-you card with a scented candle... and I was so gushing over this simple gift that my new girlfriend looked at me, unsmiling -- and ripped the envelope in half, threatening to leave the party if I didn't start looking at her the same way. Can you imagine having to deal with idiots like me and their envelope-ripping girlfriends every time you gave out a thank-you card?)

Taylor is the eldest child of Joan and Albert "Skip" Taylor III in Pennsylvania. Her interest in acting began at St. Thomas More Church, in Salisbury Township, in local shows like "The Wizard of Oz" and "Fiddler on the Roof." Lois Miller, owner of Star Talent Management of Allentown, launched Taylor on her professional career, as her manager. She became the new "Burger King girl" and did a "Milk--it does a body good" ad for the National Dairy Board, a Kodak commercial with Bill Cosby, three more Burger King commercials and a McDonald's spot. Soon, Taylor said, "a couple of the agents started submitting me for, 'quote, unquote,' more legitimate stuff." She was cast in the Nickelodeon show "Hey Dude" during her senior year of high school. She relocated to LA in order to act in the show, then went home for graduation. Taylor was then accepted at New York University and planned to attend, but "Hey Dude" was renewed, and continued for two years (65 episodes). After finishing "Hey Dude," Taylor decided to stay in L.A., landing guest appearances on "Life Goes On," "Saved by the Bell," and the final episode of "Dallas."

Christine has appeared in the films "Kiss Toledo Goodbye," "The Wedding Singer," "Denial," "The Craft," and "Night of the Demons 2." She also starred in the TV films "Here Come the Munsters" (as Marilyn), and "To the Ends of Time" as Princess Stephanie. From there, Christine appeared on practically every important TV comedy of the nineties, including "Seinfeld" (in two episodes, as "Ellen"), "Ellen" (in one episode, not as "Ellen"), "Murphy Brown," and "Friends" (appearing in several episodes as "Bonnie," the bald girl). She also worked on "Blossom," where she met future DBNS co-star Joey Lawrence -- "whoa!" She also starred in the TV series "Party Girl," and is currently developing her own show.

Ms. Taylor loves Twix bars and scary films, and is looking for a horror script of her own to star in. (Acting with Screech on "Saved By the Bell" wasn't scary enough???)

But tragedy struck in November of 1999, when Ms. Taylor accepted the marriage proposal of actor/director Ben Stiller. He told People Magazine: "I was directing a pilot for Fox, starring Jack Black, called Heat Vision and Jack. My wife came in to audition for the role of the sexy sheriff. She had been in the Brady Bunch movies and they were pushing her on me. She came in and she was great. I was single. I'd come out of a long relationship with Jeanne Tripplehorn. Christine was coming out of a relationship too. We went on a date and it clicked. We were both on the rebound. And we just jumped. We got married pretty quickly. I turned around one day and said, 'Wow, I'm happy with her. We connect. I'm enjoying being with her all the time!' It just felt right.."² They were married on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.³ Sorry guys (like you had a shot). They went on to make movies together like "Zoolander" and "Dodgeball, the Movie" -- and now they even have a couple of kids. Christine just didn't realize what a good thing she missed out on when she didn't accept our marriage proposals every morning on the set of "Desperate."

We can always hope for a divorce.⁴

¹—Willistein, Paul. Here's The Story How Christine Taylor Became Marcia Brady (The Morning Call, Febrary 12, 1995): "When she was a student at Allentown Central Catholic High School, everyone told Christine Taylor she looked like Marcia Brady of 'The Brady Bunch,' the popular television show. All of my friends -- dating back to grammar school -- they knew that I was such a Brady fan, and they'd say, 'You look like Marcia,' Taylor said. Taylor, a Wescosville native living in Los Angeles, is now Marcia Brady in 'The Brady Bunch Movie,' which opens nationwide on Friday."

²—Rader, Dotson. Ben Stiller: Seriously Funny. (People Magazine, February 12, 2016): "We both love each other, and we also laugh a lot. She's one of the funniest people I know. Growing up, I watched my parents. I never saw anybody more devoted than my father was to my mother. That set the bar very high for me."

³—Errico, Marcus. Ben Stiller Hitched!. "Stiller's almost done the marriage thing before. He reportedly was engaged to another actress, 'The Firm's' Jeanne Tripplehorn, last year. Other former squeezes include comedy compatriot Janeane Garofalo, with whom he coauthored the faux self-help book 'Feel This Book.' Taylor broke off her engagement to director Jason Bloom (who directed her in 1998's 'Overnight Delivery') before hooking up with Stiller. Stiller has a good model on how to make a Hollywood marriage work. His parents--'The King of Queens' Jerry Stiller and character actress Anne Meara--have stayed together for 45 years." (See? We have no chance, damn it.) E! (May 16, 2000).

⁴—UPDATE!!! Deerwester, Jayme. Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor separate after 17 years of marriage, "USA Today" (May 26, 2017). Get writing, Coady and Eaton! Newly-single Lily and Frances re-connect in their forties and go on a Thelma & Louise-style road trip, trailed by a psychotic bartender. DO IT!!!⁵

⁵—UPDATE on the UPDATE!!! Never mind, they're back together: Fisher, Shannon. The real reason why Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor reconciled. (Nicki Swift, March 2, 2020): "A unique combination of personal and professional factors led these lovebirds toward reconciliation, giving us renewed hope for lasting love in La La Land." (Yes, somebody actually wrote that!)


Cast / Crew

Main Page