‘The Brady Bunch’: Florence Henderson Spoke on Her Faith in Final Interview Before Death

by Joe Rutland

Being a Catholic and leaning on her faith meant a lot to Florence Henderson in her life. “The Brady Bunch” star talked about its importance.

Henderson recalls this part of her life in an interview with St. Anthony Messenger. It happened to be her final interview before she died on Nov. 24, 2016.

“I don’t ever remember not praying,” she said in the interview, which appeared in the January 2017 edition of the magazine. “Bedtime prayers, the rosary, praying for friends, relatives, for the sick, and for those who had died. It was a natural part of our lives.”

‘The Brady Bunch’ Mom Was Born Into Large Indiana Family

“The Brady Bunch” mom knew about coming from a rough-and-tough life. Henderson was one of 10 children who was born in Dale, Ind. She never forgot about her home state, either. We’ll get to that in a minute. But Henderson was groomed to be a singer by her family.

Henderson eventually found herself on Broadway at age 18 in “Wish You Were Here” in 1952. That started a six-decade career in show business for her. Thanks to her warm, engaging personality, she also landed jobs in television’s early years.

In fact, one of those happened to be on NBC’s “Today” program. It was the first morning TV show that included news as well as light-hearted pieces on lifestyle and entertainment. Henderson would host those as “The Today Girl” from 1959-60. She found the work to be entertaining, indeed. It also foreshadowed what would happen about a decade from that time.

Henderson Would Find Herself Performing At Indy 500 Auto Race

One of the greatest events every year in Indiana, besides its state high school basketball tournament, is the Indianapolis 500. For decades, Formula One drivers have put themselves behind the wheel and driven around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the hopes of winning.

Henderson knew about the race because, after all, she’s an Indiana native.

One of Henderson’s great gifts was her singing voice. She loved her home state of Indiana and represented it at the Indianapolis 500, a Formula One staple.

What did Henderson do 23 times at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway? She sang. From 1991 to 2015, she performed the national anthem, “God Bless America,” or “America the Beautiful.”

It marked quite a rise from being born into a poor family. Henderson discovered fame and fortune away from Indiana, yet always held a place in her heart for the Hoosier State.

The Brady Bunch” helped Florence Henderson become part of TV lore. She got the role in 1969 and made it quite special. Her contributions both in and out of show business, though, will be remembered forever.