'Here's the story of a lovely lady...'
November 25, 2016 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Florence Henderson, famous as TV mom Carol Brady, died on Thanksgiving. She was 82.
posted by bryon (100 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by drnick at 12:27 AM on November 25, 2016


Alright 2016; that's enough!
posted by Jaymzifer at 12:35 AM on November 25, 2016 [13 favorites]


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posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:36 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by get off of my cloud at 12:38 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 12:50 AM on November 25, 2016


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Note for whomever made the deal to flip us into the darkest timeline in exchange for a Cubs World Series win: It wasn't worth it.
posted by maxwelton at 12:52 AM on November 25, 2016 [64 favorites]


The world has lost its Wessonality.

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posted by hippybear at 12:52 AM on November 25, 2016 [26 favorites]


On Thanksgiving, because that's just the kind of epic dick maneuver 2016 is known for.

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posted by louche mustachio at 12:54 AM on November 25, 2016 [17 favorites]


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She was a fantastic woman, and I'll always remember her cameo on Whose Line is it Anyway extremely fondly.
posted by flatluigi at 1:04 AM on November 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by fraula at 1:28 AM on November 25, 2016


Carol Brady died on Thanksgiving. At this point it feels like 2016 is trolling us.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:34 AM on November 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


Is anyone else starting to think that the "fuck you 2016" stuff (especially when people die in their 80s after good and successful lives) is maybe, at this point, taking away from us actually remembering them as individuals?
posted by howfar at 1:39 AM on November 25, 2016 [64 favorites]


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posted by susanbeeswax at 1:44 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by riverlife at 1:44 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by Faintdreams at 1:48 AM on November 25, 2016


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A lovely lady.
posted by fairmettle at 1:49 AM on November 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


She was 82, she'd done way more than she ("10th child of tobacco farmers" and so on) could have been expected to do, she didn't dwindle away (was still healthy enough to do television this week), and her family (home for Thanksgiving) was able to see her off. And she avoided the Trumpocalypse. You couldn't plan a better exit.
posted by pracowity at 2:22 AM on November 25, 2016 [42 favorites]


> Is anyone else starting to think that the "fuck you 2016" stuff (especially when people die in their 80s after good and successful lives) is maybe, at this point, taking away from us actually remembering them as individuals?

I can't speak for the rest of the world but for me, no. It's possible there's not that much of a difference in the quantity of major celebrities dying this year when compared to other years, but I've felt their passing more acutely this year, and I think it's the "darkest timeline / fuck you 2016" meme is, if anything, what's reinforcing that feeling.
posted by ardgedee at 2:23 AM on November 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


I live in the future, according to people who live in the USA, and when my lovely yank friends would ask what tomorrow was like I used to say 'no-one famous died today'. I don't say that any more.

RIP Florence. Parts of my childhood keep falling away but I guess that's life. Not the best part of life but I guess it's inevitable.
posted by h00py at 3:05 AM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


⬜⚀⬜
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posted by radwolf76 at 3:08 AM on November 25, 2016 [47 favorites]


Aww.

Add to the list of notable achievements: long before "The Rachel" there was "The Carol." My mom had it!
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posted by Room 641-A at 4:01 AM on November 25, 2016 [4 favorites]


This fucking year.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:04 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by Melismata at 4:25 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by Faint of Butt at 4:28 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by drezdn at 4:35 AM on November 25, 2016


louche mustachio: "On Thanksgiving, because that's just the kind of epic dick maneuver 2016 is known for."

Maybe she was just Brady-momlike to the end, trying to get us all to change the national conversation on Thanksgiving.
posted by chavenet at 4:35 AM on November 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:37 AM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I will miss her in ways I wasn't quite expecting. Thank you, lovely lady.

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posted by Hermione Granger at 4:50 AM on November 25, 2016


All year I've been feeling like there are precious few grownups left in the world. This just confirms it.

👤 (bust of Mike Brady)
posted by Mchelly at 4:54 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by Etrigan at 5:05 AM on November 25, 2016




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posted by tommasz at 5:20 AM on November 25, 2016


And let's not forget her star turn in Shakes the Clown! That dame was game.
posted by whuppy at 5:43 AM on November 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


Paging It's Raining Florence Henderson ...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:53 AM on November 25, 2016 [7 favorites]


Good night, Mrs. Brady.
posted by Elly Vortex at 5:54 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by cazoo at 6:05 AM on November 25, 2016


Hate to be that guy, but the post title gets the lyrics to the Brady theme song wrong. I'm fairly sure, as a child of the 70s, that it's "Here's the story," not "It's the story." But I'm fairly certain that The Brady Bunch explains the emergence of punk rock.

Look, confirmation bias is a hell of a drug. So . . . a lot of us are late boomer or Gen Xers, and the icons of our childhoods are now in their 70s and 80s. It's not 2016 that sucks, per se -- it's getting old and dying, and our stars and heroes (and nice TV moms) dying makes us realize . . . we are next. It's not like suddenly a lot more people are dying than usual, it's just that now they don't seem quite so old to many of us.

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for the lovely lady.
posted by spitbull at 6:06 AM on November 25, 2016 [12 favorites]


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posted by mochapickle at 6:06 AM on November 25, 2016


Is anyone else starting to think that the "fuck you 2016" stuff (especially when people die in their 80s after good and successful lives) is maybe, at this point, taking away from us actually remembering them as individuals?

Or maybe don't police other people's feelings.

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posted by Celsius1414 at 6:14 AM on November 25, 2016 [10 favorites]


From her performance in Shakes The Clown to her budding friendship with Marilyn Manson formed while both were on Bill Maher about 20 years ago, I have always adored this woman. Far vel, Florence.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:23 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Florence Henderson was the shit.

I think I was the perfect age for The Brady Bunch. Some of my earliest TV memories are of Friday nights when my dad would make popcorn and we'd watch it. Then when I was a little bit older and they were in reruns I'd watch the show every day. There was a point in my life when I could name the episode within the first ten seconds. I'm not sure I could do that today since I haven't seen the show in many years. Maybe I'll go see if I can dig up a few episodes today.

I mean, I know it was a terrible show, but it was a wonderful sort of terrible.

If you haven't seen The Brady Bunch Movie you should do that today. It's one of the best adaptations I've ever seen and Shelly Long and Gary Cole transform into Mr. and Mrs. B. perfectly.

Later in life I read Barry Williams' account of being on the show and going by the stories he told of Mrs. Henderson she was a total firecracker. Also smart, talented, and sexy as fuck. Really just a great person all around.

Cameos in unlikely places like Bob Goldthwait films and Weird Al videos made her all the more special.

It will be sad knowing she will no longer be around to pop up in unexpected places.

So long, Mrs. Brady.

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posted by bondcliff at 6:23 AM on November 25, 2016 [17 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:29 AM on November 25, 2016


This year is not good
posted by usupdates at 6:33 AM on November 25, 2016


It is now raining

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posted by clavdivs at 6:38 AM on November 25, 2016


Don't play ball in the house. I say this to my boys when they start throwing stuff around. They have no idea where it comes from but I feel the need to pass this on to the next generation.
posted by h00py at 6:42 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


RIP, my childhood.
posted by The Gooch at 6:43 AM on November 25, 2016


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The BB movie also has a cameo of Ann B.Davis as a truck driver.
posted by brujita at 6:45 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by Bringer Tom at 6:55 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by Thorzdad at 6:59 AM on November 25, 2016


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Two weeks ago I was in NYC. It was the day after the election - my birthday.

There was an obvious gloom to the day, but we had a reservation at Patsy's for dinner. As we sat down, I leaned in to my best friend's husband and mentioned that the woman at the table next to us looked stunningly like Florence Henderson.

Turns out, it was Florence Henderson. She was eating spaghetti, toasting wine with friends, smiling and laughing. I couldn't help myself.. I never approached her, but I just stared. And smiled. I watched her for most of the meal and completely lost myself in the moment. The election never crossed my mind at my birthday dinner.

Mrs. Brady herself helped to cheer me up that day, without saying a word.
posted by AloneOssifer at 7:12 AM on November 25, 2016 [50 favorites]


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posted by Silverstone at 7:29 AM on November 25, 2016


Ah memories. One of my childhood rituals was watching reruns of The Brady Bunch after school with my brother.

Everything I read about her made her seem like, well, a lovely lady. And from AloneOssifer's story it seems she was so, right up to the end.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:40 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by Halloween Jack at 7:41 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by jeff-o-matic at 7:52 AM on November 25, 2016


[I swear to god, if you guys manage to spin up a goddam fight in FLORENCE HENDERSON'S OBIT THREAD I will make this a black Friday indeed.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:59 AM on November 25, 2016 [56 favorites]


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posted by mixedmetaphors at 8:05 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by photo guy at 8:21 AM on November 25, 2016


[I swear to god, if you guys manage to spin up a goddam fight in FLORENCE HENDERSON'S OBIT THREAD I will make this a black Friday indeed.]

It's all Jan's fault.
posted by hal9k at 8:23 AM on November 25, 2016 [21 favorites]


Oddly, I thought she'd gone a long time ago.
posted by delfin at 8:38 AM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's all Jan's fault.

Marsha! It is not!!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:39 AM on November 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


it's "Here's the story," not "It's the story."

True. Maybe a less-grumpy mod could fix?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:41 AM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


[*throws corrective football at title's nose*]
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:44 AM on November 25, 2016 [15 favorites]


"Shirley Jones still survives!"
posted by leotrotsky at 8:54 AM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by ZeusHumms at 8:59 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by infini at 9:00 AM on November 25, 2016


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This fucking year.
posted by tuesdayschild at 9:35 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by XtinaS at 9:36 AM on November 25, 2016


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opening scene from Shakes the Clown
posted by philip-random at 9:42 AM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by XMLicious at 10:05 AM on November 25, 2016


I saw griphus mention this on twitter and was, for a moment, deeply distressed about the death of It's Raining Florence Henderson. Mrs Brady, that's fine, that's not as bad. Good run she had. Mourn ya til I join ya, Flo.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:07 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I can only assume that her Jive-translating abilities were needed in heaven. (Ooops, that was Barbara Billingsly. Nonetheless:)

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posted by BrashTech at 10:10 AM on November 25, 2016


I can only assume that her Jive-translating abilities were needed in heaven.

Wrong TV mom.
posted by bondcliff at 10:12 AM on November 25, 2016


Tweeeeeet! Illegal edit, five comment penalty!
posted by bondcliff at 10:13 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I can only assume that her Jive-translating abilities were needed in heaven.

I assume you're referring to the scene from Airplane!? That role was played by Barbara Billingsley, who was the mom on Leave It To Beaver. Right mom (sort of), wrong era.
posted by hippybear at 10:14 AM on November 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 10:16 AM on November 25, 2016


Eight is not enough.
posted by emelenjr at 10:17 AM on November 25, 2016


Yours, mine, and ours?
posted by Melismata at 10:18 AM on November 25, 2016


"'Mine' is a selfish word / 'yours' is a thoughtful word / but 'ours' is the nicest word of all"
-Jimmy, Pronouns, H.R. Pufnstuf
posted by hippybear at 10:27 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Or maybe don't police other people's feelings.

That would be terrible!
posted by thelonius at 10:29 AM on November 25, 2016


*at long last, plays ball in house*
posted by jonmc at 10:33 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


So . . . a lot of us are late boomer or Gen Xers, and the icons of our childhoods are now in their 70s and 80s.

Of course, but recall that January kicked off with sixty-somethings David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glenn Frey in quick succession. On the other hand, there was also Abe Vigoda, who was 209. Maybe the average still holds.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:47 AM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 10:50 AM on November 25, 2016


Here are Florence Henderson and Eddie Fisher singing together in 1954 on his variety show, Coke Time, and here is a solo from Florence from what I presume is the same episode. Both songs are from the then-current Broadway musical Fanny. She was able to be America's Mom because she was first on Broadway! In these clips, she's 20 years old.

I grew up with her as a rerun. The Brady Bunch ended its network run in 1974 at the periphery of my cultural memory, but I saw it almost every day after school from ages 6-11. I'm glad she had her family and friends with her when she passed (which I hope was swift and with little pain), and I'm glad she was enjoying her life right up to the end.
posted by droplet at 11:00 AM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by bjgeiger at 11:50 AM on November 25, 2016


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posted by the sobsister at 11:55 AM on November 25, 2016


Marsha! It is not!!

This is my side of the thread, nobody better cross this line

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posted by dr_dank at 1:22 PM on November 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Here are Florence Henderson and Eddie Fisher singing together in 1954 on his variety show, Coke Time

A very different variety show from the Coke Time that ran in the late 70s and early 80s.
posted by hippybear at 1:44 PM on November 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


She was on Wait Wait Don't Tell me in 2014 and it was great fun. At one point they're talking about the Brady Bunch, and she discusses some of the questions she gets...
BRIAN BABYLON: I was always curious - they never been through the back story about how Carol and Mike met, they just go straight up in this relationship. Was it like a meet up, 'cause it was pre-Internet? This was pre-Internet.

HENDERSON: Well, they never talked much about our spouses, you know. And people often ask me what happened to my first husband? And I say I killed him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:51 PM on November 25, 2016 [19 favorites]




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posted by Atom Eyes at 3:22 PM on November 25, 2016


If you haven't seen The Brady Bunch Movie you should do that today. It's one of the best adaptations I've ever seen and Shelly Long and Gary Cole transform into Mr. and Mrs. B. perfectly.

The critics hated the movie, but I was rather impressed with it. I thought it was a clever and creative send-up not only of the The Brady Bunch show but of the conventions of TV sitcoms, and how much more could one ask of the concept and material? In the movie, the Bradys are very much like they were on the show, an unreal fantasy version of a family still living in the seventies, while the world around them is realistically in the nineties, i.e., the Bradys' diverse and non-model-type neighbours regard them with irritated suspicion ("I've never seen a toilet in their house"); Marsha's best friend is a lesbian who has a crush on her, and Marsha hasn't a clue.

The original cast cameos are genius. Ann B. Davis is a truck driver, the original Greg is a record producer who casually tells the movie Greg he hasn't a chance in hell of getting a record contract, and best of all Florence Henderson is Carol Brady's mom and the children's grandmother ("Oh Marsha! Aren't you gorgeous! And Jan! Isn't Marsha gorgeous?")

Farewell, Florence Henderson. The Bradys may have been ridiculously unreal but you do seem to have been a genuinely lovely lady.
posted by orange swan at 7:07 PM on November 25, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh, man - makes me sad. She was a talented, classy soul.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:21 PM on November 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


There is probably a solid think piece out there on the particular combination of Mrs. Brady's wholesome momness with Florence Henderson's could-not-be-entirely-submerged sexuality and the rise in "MILF" fetishes.

That may seem disrespectful, but only if you've never read much about her. She could be kind of a randy, salty lady. And she never entirely loved the box that Mrs. Brady put her in.

Fun fact: she once dated Barry Williams ("Greg") during the show's run. He was too petrified to get anywhere though.

Anyway, she was great.

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posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:55 AM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by luckynerd at 11:11 AM on November 26, 2016


I didn't see this linked. From LAist, Florence Henderson dancing and singing on The Dean Martin Show.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:01 PM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Day By Day: A Very Brady Episode
posted by Mchelly at 3:49 PM on November 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


Great link, Mchelly, I loved the show but forgot about that episode.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:08 PM on November 26, 2016


I always wanted Florence Henderson to adopt me. I'm surprisingly flattened by the news of her passing.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:38 PM on November 26, 2016


♫ bom bombompatapa bom!
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posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:47 AM on November 27, 2016


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posted by LobsterMitten at 12:57 PM on November 27, 2016


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