‘The Brady Bunch’: How Florence Henderson Would Help Cast Deal with Tension, Drama on Set

by Joe Rutland
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Florence Henderson knew putting in the hours on set for “The Brady Bunch” could be tiring. Yet she did what she could to lighten the load.

All six now-grown-up kids from “The Brady Bunch” appeared during a 2019 reunion spot on NBC’s “Today” show. Actor Mike Lookinland, who played Bobby Brady, talks about Henderson and what she would do.

“Florence Henderson was really a hoot,” Lookinland said. “She livened the place up. When things were tense and maybe we were behind schedule or something, Florence would crack a joke loudly, with a loud voice.”

Bobby Brady Actor From ‘The Brady Bunch’ Calls Those ‘Special Moments’

Lookinland, who retired from the entertainment industry, remembers those moments from his childhood.

“I mean we were just children and I can just remember that being special…those were special moments,” Lookinland said. “Because you could see how the grown-ups interacted with each other and dealt with each other.”

Obviously, Henderson was one of three adults in the main cast on “The Brady Bunch.” Actor Robert Reed played her husband Mike Brady, while Ann B. Davis played Alice the housekeeper. While all six kids are now grown up and still alive, Henderson, Reed, and Davis have all died.

Henderson died on Nov. 24, 2016, at 82 years old. Reed died on May 12, 1992, at 59 years old. Davis died on June 1, 2014, at 88 years old.

Henderson Actually Got Her First TV Gig As ‘The Today Girl’ In 1959

Seeing the kids’ cast on “Today” talk about Henderson offers an opportunity to recall Henderson’s own ties to that very show.

Back in 1959, Henderson, who was born in Indiana, found her way from a tough childhood to becoming a stage and nightclub performer. That, of course, would eventually lead to “The Brady Bunch” and fans around the world.

Television was beginning to expand its influence and NBC started a morning TV show called “Today.”

Her first job on TV was as “The Today Girl” where she’d tell people about that day’s weather forecast. Henderson also did a lot of light-hearted interviews on the show, too. She stayed in that role for a year, then moved along.

She looked back at one moment on the show between “Today” host Dave Garroway and some real monkeys.

“He (Garroway) took the top off the barrel, and all the monkeys went bananas,” she said in an IndyStar interview. “They were up in the (lighting) grids, they were doing naughty things all over us and the table. … It was fun, but it was also scary. A picture taken at the time shows me on top of the desk, terrified.”

Outsider.com