Florence Henderson (born February 14, 1934) played the part of Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch. A veteran actress of the Broadway stage, film and TV, Florence is also a talented dancer, as she also has appeared as a contestant on the ABC-TV series </span>Dancing with the Stars in 2010. Henderson currently hosts her own talk show, The Florence Henderson Show on RLTV.
Florence was born the youngest of ten children, was born in Dale, Indians a small town in the southwest region of the state. Henderson was a daughter of Elizabeth (née Elder), a homemaker, and Joseph Henderson, a tobacco sharecropper. She is of English origin. Raised a Roman Catholic, she graduated from St. Francis Academy in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1951; shortly thereafter, she went to New York City, enrolling in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She is an Alumna Initiate of the Alpha Chi chapter of Delta Zeta sorority.
Henderson started her career on the stage, performing in musicals, such as the touring production of Oklahoma! and South Pacific at Lincoln Center. She debuted on Broadway in the musical Wish You Were Here in 1952 and later starred on Broadway in the long-running 1954 musical, Fanny (888 performances) in which she originated the title role. Henderson also appeared on Broadway in The Girl Who Came to Supper (1963). In 1962, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre, and the same year became the first woman to guest host The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She also joined the ranks of what was then called "The Today Girl" on NBC's long running morning show, doing weather and light news, a position also once held by Barbara Walters.
Her most widely seen role was as Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch which aired on ABC-TV from 1969 until 1974. Henderson's best friend, Shirley Jones, had previously turned down the role as at the time she wasn't ready to do a TV series and she needed to spend more time with her children
Primarily owing to her role in The Brady Bunch, Henderson was ranked by TV Land and Entertainment Weekly as one of the 100 Greatest TV Icons.
Henderson was a frequent panelist on the original version of the syndicated television game show Hollywood Squares and made occasional appearances on ABC-TV's The $25,000 Pyramid.
Florence also was the spokeswoman for Wesson cooking oil from 1976 to 1996. During that time, she hosted a cooking show on TNN called Country Kitchen, and also did ads for Prange's, a former Wisconsin department store chain. Henderson co-hosted the talk show Later Today on NBC (1999–2000) with co-hosts Jodi Applegate and Asha Blake. In the 2000s, she was the spokeswoman for Polident denture cleanser. In 2003, Henderson seemed to poke fun at her wholesome image by appearing in a Pepsi Twist television commercial with Ozzy Osbourne.
Florence has also appeared with her TV children, as with Christopher Knight on the reality television series My Fair Brady. She is also in the sixth season of VH1's The Surreal Life. Florence also made a special appearance on May 11, 2012 in a special Mother's Day episode on the long-running CBS-TV daytime game show The Price Is Right with Drew Carey, displaying prizes as well as one of the showcases.
- ↑ Florence Henderson Show
- ↑ Florence Henderson Biography (1934)
- ↑ Edelstein, Andrew J.; Lovece, Frank (1990). The Brady Bunch Book. New York: Warner Books. p. 63. ISBN 0-446-39137-9.