Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Obituary: Florence Henderson

Florence Agnes Henderson was born 14 February 1934 as the youngest child of Elizabeth and Joseph Henderson (Life Is Not a Stage).  She was one of ten children, many of whom were already on their own or about to be by the time she was born. She grew up with her elder sister, who was a few years older than she. She grew up singing in church choir, and eventually at grocery stores. By the time she was thirteen, her mother had left her family, leaving her and her sister with their father (Life Is Not a Stage).

She became a serious performer during her high school years, participating in drama productions and choirs at St. Francisco Academy in Kentucky. When she was seventeen years old, she attended the American Academy for Dramatic Arts, with the help of a well-off friend's family's support (Life Is Not a Stage).  She was mentored by actress Christine Johnson (Life Is Not a Stage).

At the age of eighteen after only a year of seriously studying acting at AADA, she landed a role in the production of Wish You Were Here  as The New Girl.  As luck would have it, Richard Rogers of Rogers & Hammerstein would come see her and LOVE her in the production. Mr. Rogers would cast Florence in her break out role in the touring company of Oklahoma!  as Laurey. She was steadily working on Broadway from 1952-1956. Other Broadway credits include: the title role in Fanny,  and Mary Morgan in The Girl Who Came to Supper.

After several years on Broadway, she made her way westward to Hollywood where she appeared in several short-lived and lesser known television series in the 1950s and 1960s. A role she is most known for is Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch  and it's many movies and spin-offs over the years.

After The Brady Bunch ended, she did several guest appearances on various television shows, such as Murder, She Wrote; Roseanne, Dave's World, Loonatics Unleashed, among many others. Her final television appearance before her death was to support former co-actress from the Brady days, Maureen McCormick during her run of Dancing with the Stars{Video}.

Henderson died on 24 November 2016 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California at the age of 82. She was survived by her four children, and five grandchildren.


Bibliography

  • Life is not a stage: from Broadway baby to lovely lady and beyond Florence Henderson - Joel Brokaw - Center Street - 2012. (cited as Life is not a Stage)
  • League, The Broadway. “IBDB.com.” – Broadway Cast &Amp; Staff | IBDB, 2001, www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/florence-henderson-44834.

  • “Florence Henderson's Official Home on the Web - Florence Starred as Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch, so Come Ask Flo Questions, Read Her Bio, See Personal Photos, and Get Updates.” Florence Henderson's Official Home on the Web - Florence Starred as Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch, so Come Ask Flo Questions, Read Her Bio, See Personal Photos, and Get Updates., www.flohome.com/main.htm.

**Ed note: Sorry about the delay here, she was a favorite of mine and I want to get this right. :)

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