Florence Henderson best known as Carol Brady died on Thanksgiving. She was 83. I woke up yesterday morning and started perusing my regular news sites where I saw that lovely smiling face of the very beloved Carol Brady. I was very surprised and of course very sad. She had just been seen looking fabulous at Dancing With The Stars a few days prior.
She was the Mom of Moms. Gung ho to tackle the many wonders and woes that go with a mixed family. She having three daughters with their lovely hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls (up until she was 32). When marrying Mike Brady, she became an instant Mom to three boys. Prior to Mike marrying Carol It was actually quite sad. They were four men living all together, yet they were all alone. Miraculously by the third episode the kids were calling her Mom and Mike Brady Daddy. If only step parenting was that easy. But those Bradys sure made it seem so.
She went through her first year on show wearing a wig, in the second season her own hair and in the third year, her most popular and much copied look, her mullet. She was a groovy mom with polyester frocks and dazzling pant suits. I know there was a mom war. Who was the coolest Mom, Carol Brady or Shirley Partridge? I believe it was a draw.
Florence played the role like a trooper, leading her rather nerdy children into rousing games of potato sack races and hoe downs. The true goofs were Greg and Marcia actually participating in these things as high school senior and junior. REALLY GUYS...Greg kind of made up for it by becoming the very groovy Johnny Bravo. Thank God he fit the suit.
She had to keep her narcissist drama queen daughter Marcia in check. I was never so happy when Marcia got the football in her face. "Oh MY Nose" We got to see the ball to the schnoz not only once but three times. I also loved when Mrs Brady had to fire Marcia from being Juliet in the school play. I laughed as Marcia wept. So much for "noble" and" beautiful". Are you getting the vibe that I just don't like Marcia.
I digress. I loved watching The Bradys. Sometimes when I'm feeling down I turn on Hulu and catch a couple of my favorite episodes. I have many happy memories of watching the show. My stepdaughter and I would hunker down for a marathon. We would laugh at the goofiness and be still my heart, her mutual dislike of Marcia.
Carol Brady was a big part of my childhood. The Brady Bunch has never been off the air so generations of folks know and love her. The part that really stinks is that they NEVER got royalties or any other dough from the merchandise, lunch boxes, paper dolls etc..I always thought the decent thing for Sherwood Schwartz, producer of Brady Bunch, to do would kick in some bucks for all the money he made off them. I'm betting that never happened. Not only that, but I'm also betting the thought never occurred to him.
Florence in her real life was a bawdy and fun broad. She was youngest of ten children. She was from Indiana and her parents were farmers. She was on Broadway at the tender age of eighteen and a star ever since. Florence was also the first woman to Host The Tonight Show during the time Jack Paar quit until Johnny Carson took over. Pretty cool Florence. Take That Chelsea Handler, who also conveniently forgot Joan Rivers had her own talk show too.
Thank you for being America's Mom. You will be greatly missed.
P.S. Say "Hi " To Mike, Alice, Sam The Butcher and Tiger for me..I still have a fondness for Tiger after he disappeared with no explanation during the second season. I'm hoping he just moved into the house where his baby mama lived and raised his brood like The Brady Woof he was raised to be.