Here’s What Happened to Florence Henderson Before, During and After Starring in ‘The Brady Bunch’

Metaphorically speaking, there’s no denying actress Florence Henderson is joined at the hip with Carol Brady, her iconic role on The Brady Bunch and most of its varied spin-offs. Oh, sure, you might also think about her years promoting Wesson Oil and singing of “Wessonality,” but it always comes back to Carol. And for good reason, because she and the others who were cast as the bunch named Brady surpassed the show’s 1969 to 1974 run, continuing to touch generation after generation.

In her career-ranging interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Florence reflected on the power of The Brady Bunch (currently airing on the MeTV network), commenting, “I think the show presented an idealized version of a family. I don’t mean an American family, I mean a family anywhere in the world, because this show has been on the air for so many years. I get mail from so many different countries — it’s like 122 countries or something — so I know that the show represents something to people of all races, all colors, all religions. It was very pure, very innocent and very much of a certain genre — I don’t even know for sure what you would call it, but it’s just something that strikes a chord in people’s hearts.”

ann-b-davis-brady-bunch-cast
Abc/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

“Personally,” adds pop culture historian Geoffrey Mark, “The Brady Bunch hit me right around when puberty hit me, so I identify with that show greatly. I can understand the cultural juggernaut that The Brady Bunch was at the time of its being on the air in prime time. And then the next generation of kids who watched it constantly every day after school year in and year out. Two generations of kids watched it over and over and over again, while the characters themselves are being recycled into specials and new TV series and new TV movies. I don’t know that I can point to another series that had those kind of legs where the characters were taken over a 25-year arc and reused over and over again. And for Florence, I’m certain it was a lovely thing for her to be so beloved and a frustrating thing for her to be so tied to it. And her immense talent deserved more than Carol Brady and singing a jingle about Wessonality.”

And that is the point: Florence came to the show with an extensive list of accomplishments, ranging from Broadway to guest-hosting The Tonight Show, with a whole lot in between.

For much more on Florence Henderson, please scroll down.