Did Christine Baranski Get Her Start on the Brady Bunch?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: One of Christine Baranski’s earliest roles was as a friend of Marcia’s on the Brady Bunch.

Reader Rob N. wrote in with this one a while back.

The story is a simple one. In the Season 2 episode, “The Slumber Caper,” Marcia almost is not allowed to have a big slumber party because her principal believes she drew an unflattering portrait of her teacher. Marcia insists that it was just a drawing of George Washington that someone else captioned in such a manner as to make it look like Marcia was insulting her teacher. Her parents eventually trust her enough to let her throw the party, but Marcia then disinvites a friend of hers that she thought wrote the caption. In the end, it turns out it was a different friend who did it, thinking that only Marcia would see the humorous caption.

The friend, Paula, was played by a child actress named Chris Charney…

Over the years, the rumor has been that Chris Charney was the stage name for a young Christine Baranski, star of shows like Cybill and The Good Wife…

Is that true?

It is not.

Baranski gave BlogTalkRadio host Eileen Williams the lowdown…

“I was never on The Brady Bunch. People Google my name and that comes up. We tried to get it off Google. I was never a child actor. I started acting in high school. And then I went to drama school. It is a little girl who looks remarkable like she could be me. But I was never, never on The Brady Bunch. I wish I could shout it from the rooftops. The first real TV show I was on was Cybill. And I was in my 40s when I did that. So I was never a child actor-except in my own living room in Buffalo, New York.”

The real life Chris Charney was just a child actress who did a few TV shows in her career. She’s also a good five years younger than Baranski.

The legend is…

STATUS: False

Thanks to Rob for the question and thanks to BlogTalkRadio and Baranski for the information!

Be sure to check out my archive of TV Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of television.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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