‘The Brady Bunch’: Why Susan Olsen Said Cast ‘Stole the Limelight’ from Florence Henderson’s Children

by Evan Reier
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Being an actor, and being in the entertainment business, in general, demands a lot of time and effort. The Brady Bunch stars know this better than most.

Ever since the show’s original five-season run, the cast of The Brady Bunch has been immortalized in TV history. While it certainly had its perks, it also meant that cast members like Florence Henderson, who played mother Carol Brady, didn’t get to have normal home lives all of the time.

In an interview with Variety shortly after Henderson’s unfortunate death in 2016, Cindy Brady actress Susan Olsen spoke on what Henderson meant to her and the cast.

However, as Olsen explained, having two families like Henderson didn’t always make things easy. Spending time being a star on The Brady Bunch meant she had less time at home.

“My heart right now is going to her four children,” Olsen said. “I always felt we stole the limelight from them… They had to share her so much. My first husband and I spent time with her sons, and he told me, ‘Her kids are terrific.’ That’s how you know how good a mom she was. Two families and a career, and her kids still turned out terrific.”

It’s a sweet sentiment, and a sign that Henderson gave everything she could to her family.

The Brady Bunch Star Susan Olsen Tells Stories

In the same interview, Susan Olsen also expanded on what being a child around Florence Henderson was like. Unsurprisingly, it was a blast and a further testament to Henderson’s character.

The first story mentioned in the interview is brief, but gives context to what Henderson had to balance.

One day, Olsen, Henderson and Henderson’s daughter, Lizzy, were out and about. In a somewhat rude and at very least bizarre approach, a man told Olsen that, “You must be her real daughter.”

Lizzy, who was said to be emotional over the interaction, protested the comment. The man doubled down on his comment.

“Oh, well, she looks more like your mom.”

Harsh.

But while moments like those show the negative sides of being a star, Olsen also said that Henderson always did her best to make all sides happy. For example, Olsen would spend time growing up with her TV mom’s kids.

Besides sleepovers, Olsen mentioned a joint birthday party with Henderson’s son, Robert. With nostalgic joy, Olsen, explained how she got to see Henderson as a true mother.

“It was interesting, because I’d see her without the false eyelashes and all that,” Olsen said. “Lizzy and I had made a mess in the bathroom, I think, and I got to see her get mad at us. It was neat.”

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