Friday, September 23, 2011

Fabulous Florence. Florence Henderson has a new book out about her very busy life called Life Is Not A Stage. So who cares? Well, we should admire her when you read about all the interesting things and firsts and busy personal relationships she has gone through throughout the years and she still looks great for a older woman.
She is probably best known for the sweet and kind wholesome Mom of six children on the Brady Bunch TV show of the 70’s. However, she started her career on Broadway in a show called Fanny. Carey Grant visited her 6 times after seeing the show over and over again. She was also chosen at one time to be one of the hosts on the Today Show and did that for about a year but then decided that singing and dancing was her first passion and gave the job up to Barbara Walters.
She was also the first woman to have taken the guest host job for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. She loved that job because he had great writers and the jokes flowed easily. This woman had a great career. Who knew? She also looks great and says that she still works out three times a week.
Coming from a very poor family it is amazing she was able to break out of her poverty. Her father worked in the tobacco fields in Indiana. She was one of 10 children and would beg for money if she sang you a song. Her mother eventually left the family while her father became an alcoholic. She learned to get him sober by making him drinks of milk and raw egg and a little whisky.
To break out of her dismal life she took a Greyhound buss every day in high school to Kentucky. There she met her still best friend of 50 years who was wealthy. Her family paid for Florence to attend the Academy of Dramatic Arts in NY. Florence was very musical and got the lead in all the school plays. Without her friend’s financial assistance she probably would have never left her dismal life.
Barely 17, she was in New York. She had a marriage that lasted 29 years and had 4 children of her own. She eventually got the Mom role on the Brady Bunch and wanted her character to be very sweet. She created a Mom role that she never had at home and always longed for. The show is still in syndication shown in 120 countries all over the world.
She always knew that her “Brady Bunch” husband, Robert Reed, was gay. She noticed the struggles he had if they had to do any loving scenes.. She never outed him because she knew it would have been devastating for his career at that time. She felt compassionate for him knowing the struggles he was going through at that time. He was playing the father of the world and had to be in the closet.
She admits that throughout the years, she has had several extramarital affairs but the most notable one night stand was with a well known politician. The then Mayor of New York City, John Lindsay left her with crabs after they slept together. He was known for his good looks, tall and very handsome, he admitted that he probably gave it to her.
With a fear of flying she went to hypno-therapy to control her fears. She liked it so much that she learned how to became a certified hypno-therapist. She admits to having an affair with her teacher. Her kids tease her and say he hypnotized her. What a fascinating busy woman!
Now she is dating and has out lived her husband and all her boyfriends. Raised Catholic, she was one of the firsts to ask her Priest to give her special dispensation to use birth control and was granted permission. She believed in things that no one was doing at that time.
In the book she reveals how she met various celebrities and comments on their character. When she met Sinatra, he was one of the few that she didn’t sleep with. Who would imagine that such a boring mom on a TV show would have such a fascinating fulfilled busy personal life. She is one of the first women that did it all successfully. Career, marriage, children, getting out of poverty and looking great in her older years.

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