‘The Love Boat’: Florence Henderson Once Guest-Starred in Morbid Episode About Divorce

by Joe Rutland

“The Love Boat” was must-see Saturday night TV in the mid-1970s. Florence Henderson found herself in the middle of a very interesting episode.

Henderson, most famously known for playing Carol Brady on ABC’s “The Brady Bunch,” portrayed a wife who desperately wanted to divorce her husband. Her appearance was in the first season of “The Love Boat” in 1977.

The husband, played by comedian Shecky Greene, also wanted to drop his wife. They play Paul and Audrey Baynes, a couple who outwardly appear quite happy, in “Divorce Me, Please.”

Well, they’re not and the cruise ship is heading out at Christmas time. Put that together with each one having fantasies of leaving the other one makes for trouble in love on the high seas in “The Love Boat” episode.

Florence Henderson, Shecky Greene Team Up For Episode

Their fantasies even take a little bit of a morbid twist as the Baynes just want to get away from each other. It doesn’t help that they have these thoughts fly through their heads in the holiday season. It’s a desperate time for the couple.

If you remember “The Love Boat” during its original run or even in reruns, then you know the show always had a diverse cast. Putting Florence Henderson, a veteran actress, with Shecky Greene, who made his mark as a comedian playing Las Vegas and nightclubs around the world, is quite a stretch.

You could tune in each week and probably see either an old movie star as part of the cast. You might also even see one of the time’s top TV stars appear on there, too. Having Florence Henderson on there wasn’t much of a stretch, though, since she had ties with ABC through “The Brady Bunch.” The show was no longer in ABC’s prime-time lineup but had started airing in syndication.

The different storylines would blend throughout the hour-long show, with Gavin McLeod as Capt. Stubing steering the ship. Fellow cast members during the first season included Fred Grandy as Gopher, Bernie Kopell as Doc, Ted Lange as Isaac, and Lauren Tewes as Julie McCoy.

Henderson Was No Fan Of ‘Brady Bunch’ Actor Marriage

As for “The Brady Bunch,” Florence Henderson was definitely one actress who considered all of the kids as a family.

That feeling cropped up when actor Christopher Knight, who played Peter Brady on the show, was going to marry Adrianne Curry. Now Curry first received notoriety on TV’s “America’s Next Top Model” show, where she was its initial winner.

Curry and Knight crossed paths on the VH1 show “The Surreal Life.” They eventually got married.

Florence Henderson didn’t like how the whole thing went down and shared her thoughts publicly.

“When Christopher Knight was doing ‘The Surreal Life,’ he was very much involved with this person he had met on the set,” Henderson said. “They (VH1) were trying to actually, I think, force him to get engaged.”

Maybe Mama Carol deserves some props for having an intuition about the couple. Their marriage only lasted seven years. So did Knight hold it against Henderson about her comments?

In the end, Knight and Henderson became good friends again and stayed that way until she died in 2016.

H/T: IMDB.com, TV.com