She was America’s cheerful, glowing, positive mother in the 60s and 70s, and we all simply knew her as Carol. Carol Brady, that is, and she was the beloved matriarch of the “The Brady Bunch,” which broadcast from 1969 to 1974. Her real name was Florence Henderson, and last week saw her passing at the age of 82 years old. Henderson’s real-life persona did not stray far from her television one, and it attracted people wherever she went. Whatever I bring to that character, the No. 1 thing people ask me is, Can I have a hug? And a lot of them don’t even ask! Henderson said a few years ago.

In true gifted #9 FCAR fashion, Henderson took acting, dancing, singing and guitar lessons in her teenage years, even studying French and Italian. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein were so impressed they made her the female lead in a 1952 road tour of  Oklahoma! Wrote Walter Kerr of the New York Herald Tribune, She is the real thing, right off of a butter churn somewhere.”

Florence always most enjoyed doing live television. “That’s really the thing that I love best. I love flying by the seat of my pants.”  The trained #9, like the #13, is exceptional at ad-libbing. They love spontaneity, and often view life through rosy-colored sunglasses. Yet, it comes with a catch. The FCAR needs constant affirmation, and their high dose of Animate “extraversion” can sometimes be irritating to those around them. Writes Jon Niednagel, “This hyperactivity makes the FCAR fun to live with, yet unpredictable to the point of sometimes frustrating others.”

Thank you for the memories, Florence.

Written by: Staff
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