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Florence Henderson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (105) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Dale, Indiana, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NameFlorence Agnes Henderson
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Florence Henderson was considered by protocol executive Jerold Franks, CSA to be "...one of the most generous stars I have ever worked with." Los Angeles, New York and all parts of the country, Florence has helped raise millions of dollars for various charitable organizations.

Jerold Franks, friend and confidante to actress Mary Martin as well as producer of Ms. Martin's Celebration of Life moved the date of the tribute at the Majestic Theatre in New York out of respect to Mary and Florence's personal friendship as well as having played the role of "Maria" for hundreds of performances. Any Mary Martin tribute can never not include Florence Henderson. I love her as a performer and very proud to call her a friend. Franks was introduced to her late and second husband, John Kappas. Franks' credits his friend Florence for introducing him to certified hypnotist John Kappas to deal with the death of Franks' only son.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Lora L Hart, Roanoke, Virginia

Spouse (2)

Dr. John George Kappas (4 August 1987 - 26 September 2002) (his death)
Ira Bernstein (9 January 1956 - 1985) (divorced) (4 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Best known as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch (1969)
Natural blonde hair
Sparkling blue eyes
Voluptuous figure

Trivia (105)

Florence filed law suits against two companies because of the unauthorized use of her photo - Serial Killer, Inc. had been using her face on a t-shirt with the name "Porn Queen" underneath. A gift shop in Cotati, California also used her picture in an ad. [May 1999]
Youngest of 10 children born to an Indiana tenant farmer named Joseph Henderson and his homemaker wife named Elizabeth Henderson.
Four children with her first husband, Ira Bernstein: Barbara Bernstein, Joseph Bernstein, Bob Bernstein and Elizabeth Bernstein.
She was widowed due to the death of her second husband, Dr. John Kappas, who was a hypnotherapist. He and Florence met when he helped her battle depression during the mid-1980s. He also helped to train her in hypnotherapy, enabling her to pass the state exam and become a California state licensed hypnotherapist.
She flew to New York City every weekend during the run of The Brady Bunch (1969) (which filmed in Los Angeles) in order to be with her family.
In the mid-1950s, she was diagnosed with a bone deformation of the inner ear, and she had to have surgery to prevent deafness.
Graduated from Indiana's St. Frances School in 1951,and then studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA.. She earned a scholarship to AADA because of her singing talent.
Was a Today (1952) girl from 1959-1960, and later went on to co-host the short lived spin-off series Later Today (1999) from 1999-2000.
Was the first woman to be a guest host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962).
Was a licensed hypnotherapist. She learned about hypnotherapy from her late husband, John Kappas.
In a 2006 TV Guide/Bravo poll, her Carol Brady character was named the TV mom that most shaped viewers perceptions of a housewife with 45% of the vote. She topped both June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley from Leave It to Beaver (1957)), and Shirley Partridge (Shirley Jones from The Partridge Family (1970)) for the honor.
Could sing 50 songs by heart by the age of 2.
Best known on television for her starring role as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch (1969).
Before The Brady Bunch (1969), she was primarily known as a singing actress in stage musical comedy productions. She claims to have performed the role of "Maria" in the Rodger & Hammerstein musical, "The Sound of Music", more than any other actress.
Her parents were divorced, when she was age 13.
Classmate of Ruth Helen Wright.
Her mother, Elizabeth Henderson, died in 1984, when Florence had turned age 50.
Was born to older parents.
Attended St. Bernard's School, a private school in Louisville, Kentucky.
Acting mentor and friends with Barry Williams and Susan Olsen.
Was mentored by: Christine Johnson.
Was also good friends with Angela Lansbury. Henderson guest-starred with her on Murder, She Wrote (1984), three times.
Longtime friend of Shirley Jones, who met Henderson through Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, when Henderson was touring the Broadway musical "Oklahoma!".
Long lives ran in her family.
Started acting at an early age.
Performed in the church choir.
The youngest performer ever to host a talk show at age 25, was one of the first ladies who hosted Today (1952).
For 20 years, Henderson was a spokesperson for Wesson Oil, from 1976 to 1996, and was well known for singing the Wesson jingle, "Wessonality".
Was one of the three actors to appear in every episode of The Brady Bunch (1969).
Before she was a successful actress and talk show hostess, she used to be a singer.
At age 16, Henderson was singing for the Kiwanis, the Elks and the American Legions, and was making money.
Before she was a successful actress and talk show hostess, she used to work with an unfamiliar actor Bill Hayes, for Oldsmobile.
Lost the leading role in the film version of 'Oklahoma' to her best friend Shirley Jones.
Was the childhood television heroine of future Ally McBeal (1997) star, Calista Flockhart. Flockhart watched The Brady Bunch (1969).
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were both impressed by Henderson's vocals and asked her to be the female lead in the touring company of "Oklahoma!".
Her father, Joseph Henderson, died at age 81, in 1954.
Had suffered stage fright.
She and the rest of The Brady Bunch (1969) cast attended Robert Reed's funeral, in 1992. He had portrayed her husband, Mike Brady, in the series, and they remained close friends, after the series.
Her sister, Pauline's (Wathen) husband, was a movie theater projectionist.
Did not attend her father's funeral.
Depression ran in her family.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
She was the last The Brady Bunch (1969) original adult cast member to pass away, after Robert Reed (who portrayed husband Mike Brady) in 1992, and Ann B. Davis (who portrayed housekeeper Alice) in 2014. All six of the actor's who portrayed the Brady kids are still alive as of Florence's passing in 2016.
Like her ex-The Brady Bunch (1969) co-stars, Robert Reed and Ann B. Davis, along with her best friend Shirley Jones, Henderson was also most widely known to be a very private individual.
Henderson wrote most of her interviews on Country Kitchen (1985).
Henderson was in Norway filming the movie Song of Norway (1970) when she found out that she landed the role of Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch (1969). Unable to return to Hollywood immediately, the first few episodes of The Brady Bunch (1969) were filmed without Henderson and her scenes were filmed later and edited into the episodes.
Her idol was Mary Martin.
Despite high ratings, her show The Brady Bunch (1969) was canceled at the end of the fifth season, the season in which the series crossed the one hundred episode minimum threshold for syndication, ultimately reaching 117 episodes over the full five seasons of the show.
On The Brady Bunch (1969), she played the mother to her 3 girls, in real-life, she is the mother to her 4 children, 1 more than her character.
Had auditioned for a job as the hostess of Country Kitchen (1985), for TNN, she got the job, because she was in the cat skills area, who was intrigued by the idea that it was going to be a cooking show. She stayed with that job for 8 years.
Alongside Norman Lloyd, William Daniels, Dick Van Dyke, Ernest Borgnine, Mickey Rooney, Christopher Lee, Betty White, Angela Lansbury, Edward Asner, Adam West, William Shatner, Marla Gibbs, Larry Hagman, Shirley Jones and Alan Alda, Henderson was one of the few actors in Hollywood who lived into their 80s and/or 90s without ever either retiring from acting or having stopped getting work.
Had always felt comfortable approaching creator/executive producer Sherwood Schwartz about coming up with many different suggestions for her character on The Brady Bunch (1969). She always wanted to be creative and inventive like that, if possible, and Schwartz agreed.
She had 5 hobbies: reading; music; dancing; spending time with her family; and of course, singing.
Was born on Valentine's Day and died on Thanksgiving.
Her The Brady Bunch (1969) co-star, Ann B. Davis, taught Henderson how to do needlepoint.
Had never kept any of The Brady Bunch (1969) scripts.
Both Ann B. Davis and Henderson herself had done everything they could to get Robert Reed to understand the difficulty of the scripts, off- the set of The Brady Bunch (1969). Fortunately, for them, they helped him. In the end, he lightened up a little bit with the directors.
Her father, Joseph Henderson, was married, for the first and only time, to her mother, Elizabeth (Elder) Henderson, when he was 47, in 1914, and didn't have Florence until 12 years later.
Had always tried to come to peace with Robert Reed off- The Brady Bunch (1969) set, esp. about the role he really hated.
Began dancing at an early age.
Had inherited her faith from her father.
In 1952, at age 18, Henderson met legendary writer/director/producer Joshua Logan, when he asked her to do the musical, "Wish You Were Here" on Broadway, which she agreed to join the opening night cast.
When she couldn't afford any money for books, her elder sister, Pauline, gave her a reader for Christmas.
Had done so many pages a day on The Brady Bunch (1969), because there were a lot of kids on the set, they had to have a lot of hours of playtime and schooltime. She even had to stay up late at night to rehearse a scene that was prepared for her. In film, she and the rest of the cast would rehearse the scene for the crew, would also be responsible for the set-ups.
An avid game show enthusiast, Henderson appeared regularly on The Hollywood Squares (1965) and on such game shows as The $10,000 Pyramid (1973), To Tell the Truth (1956), Password All-Stars (1961), The Match Game (1962), Personality (1967), Family Feud (1976), The Weakest Link (2001) and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999) - where she won $32,000 for charity. She also competed on Dancing with the Stars (2005) in 2010 (she and Corky Ballas were the fifth pair to be eliminated). She also appeared on a special episode of The Price Is Right (1972) in 2012, despite not being good at guessing prices to merchandise.
Was raised in a strict family.
When she was a little girl, Henderson belonged to the 4-H Club. There, she won both prizes: a blue ribbon for her devil's food cake, and a trip to the State Fair in Indianapolis, Indiana.
For most of the time, her mother didn't have a doctor. Her mother once told young Florence "if the doctor managed to get there, she'd make him wait outside till we arrived," and her family waited outside, and she let him in.
Was born without any electricity running in the house.
She always enjoyed reading biographies and autobiographies, based on a person's life, even historical figures and about Catholism.
Had moved with her family to Rockport, Indiana, in 1937, when Henderson was only 3. She also grew up in the Ohio River.
She played Carol Brady 143 times on television between 1969 and 1990, for 117 episodes of the run of the original series, and for 26 additional times in other productions, such as The Bradys (1990) and A Very Brady Christmas (1988).
She guest-starred on more episodes of The Love Boat (1977) than any other actor, playing various characters.
In 1942, when she was only 8, her family called her "Florency.".
Her favorite The Brady Bunch (1969) episode, was the one where Peter tries to act like an older guy to double date with Greg. Her co-star, Christopher Knight wore a very fake mustache and she thought he did a really great acting job in this episode.
Shared a birthday with Hugh Downs, who was 13 years Henderson's senior. (Hugh Downs was born in 1921.).
One of her co-stars Christopher Knight actually brought the original pilot script for The Brady Bunch (1969), though Henderson wasn't a part of the original cast, that it featured Joyce Bulifant as Carol and Kathleen Freeman as Alice. The producer Sherwood Schwartz was very disappointed they didn't get along, so they rehired Henderson as Carol Brady and Ann B. Davis as Alice.
Before Ann B. Davis died in 2014, she would sing "Happy Birthday," to Henderson, annually.
All of her The Brady Bunch (1969) former TV kids, celebrated her 80th Birthday with her in 2014.
Was offered the female lead role as Carol Brady, because she knew nothing about filming. She was also an unfamiliar actress at the time. Also, she was the producers third choice.
Had always wanted to be either a doctor or a nun: instead she became a television personality, as well as an actress.
The only recollection she had ever had as a small child was she remembered the incident of her father where she had on a calico dress, and her father had pinned that on her, whilst wearing a safety pin on her neck.
Her mother had played the following musical instruments: piano, guitar and Jew's harp.
Her surrogate grandson, Susan Olsen's son, Michael, is autistic.
Before she was a successful actress and talk show hostess, she once sang a song with Bobby Troup, called "This Can't Be Love.".
Despite her 1985 divorce from Ira Bernstein, they remained friends until her death.
Was an honorary member of Delta Zeta.
While being married to Ira Bernstein, Henderson and former New York City Mayor John Lindsay were reported (or rumored) to be having an affair.
For a decade, Henderson was a spokesperson for Polident Denture Cleanser, (1998 to 2008).
When Henderson's own show The Brady Bunch (1969) vs. Shirley Jones's The Partridge Family (1970) were ruling the prime time remotes, the tabloids couldn't get enough of any fodder suggesting a brewing feud between the 2 leading female stars; but uncontentious and non-competitive as the two gentle ladies were, there were no takers, and the "feud stories" died early deaths.
The 'Weird Al' Yankovic video, "Amish Paradise," featured herself in the role originally portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer. Reportedly, Henderson jumped at the chance to be featured in the parody, after seeing the Coolio video.
Was a neighbor of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Her idol when she was young was Jane Wyman. She frequently enjoyed watching her movies.
Both actresses who played the part of Carol Brady, Florence Henderson in the Brady Bunch TV show and Shelley Long in the Brady Bunch Movies were both born in Indiana. Shelley was born in the Indian Village neighborhood in Fort Wayne, and Florence was born in Dale, IN.
Surrogate grandmother of Michael (Susan Olsen's son).
She had battled heart disease for a decade, before her death.
Florence Henderson had passed away on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2016. Just a few days before her death, she made her final guest appearance on Dancing with the Stars (2005).
One of her sisters, Mary Marcelline "Marty" Henderson Mason, had passed away on March 6, 2012. She lived to be 87.
She is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, California.
According to herself, her former The Brady Bunch (1969) co-star, Christopher Knight asked her to provide on-air counseling for his VH1 reality show My Fair Brady (2005), which charted the course of his whirlwind romance with America's Next Top Model (2003) winner, Adrianne Curry, whom he met in 2005 while filming VH1's celebrity roommate reality series The Surreal Life (2003). Henderson protected and prevented Knight, and she unsuccessfully convinced the couple to slow down.
Between 1991 and 2015, the Indiana born actress, born in Dale, a small Indiana town near the Ohio River, the 10th child of a tobacco share-cropper, Florence Henderson sang "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America" or "The Star-Spangled Banner" 23 times during pre-race Indy-Car festivities, the running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. Speedway President Doug Boles said in a Friday interview, after Henderson's death was announced, that Henderson had a passion for the "special moments" leading up to the command for drivers to start their engines for the annual race. "We thank her for her friendship and love for our sport and her friends and family will be in our prayers. She was a lovely lady and she will be missed.' Henderson served as the grand marshal for the 2016 pre-race parade, riding in a parade car at the front of the 33 competing drivers. Henderson said during a pre-race interview that she enjoyed the change of pace, of being freed from a singing commitment at the race. "This year, I get to be out here and talk to everyone. it's great," she said. "...Just to hear the crowd at the parade was absolutely fantastic".
Florence Henderson graduated from St. Francis Academy in Owensboro, KY in 1951. Her parents sent her across the Ohio River from her home to get a good Catholic education.
From 1991 to 2015, Henderson sang "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America" or "The Star-Spangled Banner" 23 times during pre-race festivities for the Indianapolis 500.
She played the same character (Carol Brady) in seven different series: "The Brady Bunch" (1969)_, The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976), The Love Boat (1977), The Brady Brides (1981), Day by Day (1988), The Bradys (1990) and Instant Mom (2013).

Personal Quotes (2)

On her late TV husband, Robert Reed: "He was so close to all six of the Brady kids. When he called and asked me to tell them he wasn't going to live much longer, they were devastated. He was a good friend."
I begged them [the producers] to give Carol Brady a job. They wouldn't do that. I mean, those clothes, for God's sake, take a look at them! I didn't choose those, please...But I said, 'Can I just hit the kids every now and then? I mean, real life!' They wouldn't let me.

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