Hollywood has lost an icon — USA Today is reporting that The Brady Bunch matriarch and star Florence Henderson has died at the age of 82. If you feel like you’ve lost a piece of your childhood in hearing that news, well, you’re not alone — in playing Carol Brady, Henderson basically raised whole generations of television viewers. I can certainly say some of my formative life lessons were pushed along by watching reruns of The Brady Bunch. In honor of Henderson’s role as one of the most famous mothers in America, I think we can all learn a little from her age-old wisdom by checking out some of Florence Henderson's most memorable quotes.
Henderson is perhaps best known for her work on The Brady Bunch, but she also had roles on shows like The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, Fantasy Island, Instant Mom, and Happily Divorced. She also did extensive voice work for show from Handy Manny and Sofia the First to The Cleveland Show and K.C. Undercover. She also appeared on Dancing With The Stars and supported her television daughter, Maureen McCormick, on her own stint on Dancing With The Stars in 2016. With all of her years in the business, Henderson gained experience and sage wisdom that must be passed on to the rest of us — here are some quotes we should remember her by.
“It Takes A Lot Of Courage To Be Happy, But I've Got Courage, So I Think I Will Be Happy Again."
Henderson’s late husband, John Kappas, passed away from lung cancer in 2002, and though his death was hard on her, Henderson always remained optimistic about her future. Being able to see the forest from the trees is important, and Henderson took on his death with aplomb and courage.
“I Had Four Children … 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?”
Parenting isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not what we see on television — here, Henderson reminds us all that sometimes life isn’t as pretty as you’d like. Sometimes, you need to yell at your kids. It happens.
“I'm Familiar To People. They Feel Comfortable With Me … I Can Sit And Ask Questions. I Can Listen. I'm Very Comfortable In Most Situations.”
Henderson was a performer her whole life, and with that breeds a certain level of ease in going through life — when you can be anyone, you can handle any situation. Being flexible and making people feel at ease in life is always a good skill to have.
"A Lot Of Women Say To Me, 'You Know, I Really Hated You Because My Kids Wanted You To Be Their Mother.'"
"I Think In A Way, I Became The Stability Of The Show [...] I Was Funny But I Could Also Bring The Empathy That Was Necessary For A Show Like That."
Henderson, who was married and a mother in real life, during the filming of The Brady Bunch, reflected on how she used her own life experiences as mother to help in her portrayal of Carol Brady. It probably shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Henderson's excellent skills as a mother on the show were ostensibly indicative of the kind of mother she was on television.
"I Think That God Does Give Us All Different Gifts And Sometimes It Takes People Longer To Find What That Gift Is. I Was Just Lucky I Found It Early."
Henderson had always considered herself an entertainer. First performing on Broadway and then moving to television, her career spans more than 60 years; a true indicator that she has always been on the right track.
"I've Always Worked. I've Always Had A Job."
When asked how she was different from Carol Brady, Henderson made no bones about the fact that she has always been a hard worker. Further proof that she has always been emblematic of modern motherhood, both on and offscreen.
"I Firmly Believe [...] You Have To Cherish Your Past. If You Did It, It's A Part Of You. I Would Be Foolish To Ignore That Or Go, I Wish I'd Never Done It, I Hate It.'"
In an interview with U.S. 1, Henderson discussed why she wasn't bothered when people often recognized her from The Brady Bunch. In opening up about not letting her defining role become an obstacle, Henderson also revealed the importance of keeping your memories, good and bad, close to you.
From her television antics
to her quotable words, Henderson will certainly be missed.