The Brady Bunch Wiki
Florence Henderson
Florence Henderson
Personal Information
Birthname: Florence Agnes Henderson
Born: (1934-02-14)14 February 1934
Birthplace: Dale, Indiana
Died: 24 November 2016(2016-11-24) (aged 82)
Actress/TV show host, TV personality
Years active: 1949–2016
Also known for: Also known as "Wesson Oil" TV commercial spokesperson, 1975-1996
Spouse(s): Ira Bernstein (m. 1956 - div. 1985)
John Kappas (m. 1987 - his death 2002)
Related to: two children
Official Website:
Character/Series involvement
Character played: Carol Brady

Florence Henderson (14 February 1934 – 24 November 2016) played the part of Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch. A veteran actress of the Broadway stage, film and TV, Florence was also a talented dancer, as she also had appeared as a contestant on the ABC-TV series Dancing with the Stars in 2010. In her last days, Henderson hosted her own talk show, The Florence Henderson Show on RLTV.[1] She was on Rachel vs. Guy Celebrity Cook Off in 2014.

Henderson's manager, Kayla Pressman, reported that Henderson had died on 24 November 2016, surrounded by family and friends.

Early Life[]

Florence was born the youngest of ten children, was born in Dale, Indiana, a small town in the southwest region of the state. Henderson was a daughter of Elizabeth (née Elder), a homemaker, and Joseph Henderson, a tobacco sharecropper.[2] She is of English origin. Raised a Roman Catholic, she graduated from St. Francis Academy in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1951; shortly thereafter, she went to New York City, enrolling in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She is an Alumna Initiate of the Alpha Chi chapter of Delta Zeta sorority.


Henderson started her career on the stage, performing in musicals, such as the touring production of Oklahoma! and South Pacific at Lincoln Center. She debuted on Broadway in the musical Wish You Were Here in 1952 and later starred on Broadway in the long-running 1954 musical, Fanny (888 performances) in which she originated the title role. Henderson also appeared on Broadway in The Girl Who Came to Supper (1963).

In 1962, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre, and the same year became the first woman to guest host The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

She also joined the ranks of what was then called "The Today Girl" on NBC's long-running morning show, doing weather and light news, a position also once held by Barbara Walters.[3]

Her most widely seen role was as Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch which aired on ABC-TV from 1969 until 1974. Henderson's best friend, Shirley Jones, had previously turned down the role as at the time she wasn't ready to do a TV series and she needed to spend more time with her children. Primarily owing to her role in The Brady Bunch, Henderson was ranked by TV Land and Entertainment Weekly as one of the 100 Greatest TV Icons.

Henderson was a frequent panelist on the original version of the syndicated television game show Hollywood Squares and made occasional appearances on ABC-TV's The $25,000 Pyramid. Florence also was the spokeswoman for Wesson cooking oil from 1976 to 1996. During that time, she hosted a cooking show on TNN called Country Kitchen and also did ads for Prange's, a former Wisconsin department store chain.

Henderson co-hosted the talk show Later Today on NBC (1999–2000) with co-hosts Jodi Applegate and Asha Blake. In the 2000s, she was the spokeswoman for Polident denture cleanser.

In 2003, Henderson seemed to poke fun at her wholesome image by appearing in a Pepsi Twist television commercial with Ozzy Osbourne.

Florence had also appeared with her TV children, as with Christopher Knight on the reality television series My Fair Brady. She was in the sixth season of VH1's The Surreal Life.

Florence also made a special appearance on 11 May 2012 in a special Mother's Day episode on the long-running CBS-TV daytime game show The Price Is Right with Drew Carey, displaying prizes as well as one of the showcases.


  • Her second husband, Dr. John Kappas, was a hypnotherapist. He and Florence met when he helped her battle depression and stage fright during the mid-'80s following her divorce from Ira Bernstein.
  • In the mid-1950s, Florence was diagnosed with a bone deformation of the inner ear and had to have surgery to prevent deafness.
  • By the time she was two years old, Florence could sing 50 songs by heart.
  • When she was sixteen years old, Florence was singing for the Kiwanis, the Elks and the American Legions & making money.
  • Florence's parents divorced when she was thirteen years old.
  • Has four kids with first husband Ira Bernstein: Barbara, Joseph, Robert & Elizabeth. Barbara appeared in three episodes of The Brady Bunch, two with Hope Sherwood (Sherwood Schwartz's daughter) and one with both Sherwood and Karen Reed (Robert Reed's daughter).
  • Florence flew to New York City every weekend during the run of The Brady Bunch (which filmed in Los Angeles) so she could be with her family.


  1. Florence Henderson Show
  2. Florence Henderson Biography (1934)
  3. Edelstein, Andrew J.; Lovece, Frank (1990). The Brady Bunch Book. New York: Warner Books. p. 63.

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