Before her death in 2018, Florence Henderson was everyone’s favorite television mom. For five years, she played the iconic Carol Brady on the favorite family series, “The Brady Bunch.” In addition to her on-camera kids, she was also a mother to four of her own: Barbara, Elizabeth, Joseph, and Robert.
During an interview with NPR before death, Henderson was candid about her children and juggling her role as Carol while being a mom at home. When Henderson joined the cast of “The Brady Bunch,” her kids were too young to understand the dynamics of having a TV mom. According to Henderson, her kids would often ask her why she treated her fictional kids differently than her own.
“I had four children, Henderson said. “And my youngest when we started was like, oh, gosh, two [years] or a little less. And sometimes my kids would say to me, ‘you know, how come you don’t scream at those kids on television like you do us?’ I said ‘because they’re not my real kids, and you are. And I want you to turn out to be wonderful human beings.’ And they have. I have four of the most incredible children, and I have five grandchildren.”
Florence Henderson ‘Mom’ To Brady Kids Both On & Off-Screen
For Henderson, her love for her children— both on and off the screen— never faltered. Before she passed away, she was always vocal about how proud she felt about her kids.
Barbara followed in her mother’s showbusiness footsteps as an actress and even appeared on “The Brady Bunch” numerous times. In the ’70s, she booked roles on multiple films and later worked as a producer in the ’90s. Henderson’s other daughter, Elizabeth, also worked as an actress in the 1992 film, Somebody’s Daughter.
When it comes to the Brady kids, they loved Henderson like she was their own mother. After she passed away, the now-adult castmembers were heartbroken at the news and sent their loving condolences to her family.
“Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years & in my life forever. Love & hugs to her family. I’ll miss u [sic] dearly.” Maureen McCormick posted on Twitter after her death.
When McCormick appeared on “Dancing With The Stars,” Henderson surprised McCormick by attending the show’s premiere. She even made a cameo appeared in one of her dance routines.
“She’s just one I could’ve spent more time with,” Christopher Knight, who played Peter, told Entertainment Tonight. “She could be one of the guys and very much like mom, like a mom you’d want to have, and America has responded to [her] in the same way. She was just a wonderful kind of warm and stern mothering figure, she, to me, was just someone I never wanted to disappoint,” he said.
“Deeply saddened. Florence was one of the most gracious people I have ever known, Proud to call her Mom and life long friend,” Barry Williams, who played the role of Greg, wrote on Twitter in response to her passing.