Judi Franco reflects on the death of Florence Henderson
Anyone who knows me knows about my unabashed love for the show The Brady Bunch. And it's not that I can't tell that it's a cheesy, saccharine dumb 70's show about people who couldn't have possibly existed, in situations that couldn't have possibly occurred.
It's not that I thought it was a well written, expertly executed, cutting-edge sitcom that made a lot of sense to me. It was just one of those enjoyable no-brainer family shows that my family and I literally sat around and watched together in the 70s. Because of that, as I grew older I watched it with fond memories since we were 4 sisters and those Brady people meant so much to us.
I named my dog Brady. I played (and won) Brady trivia on the air. I, of course, looked up to Marsha as all we girls did even though chronologically Cindy was more my counterpart. But the fact was: Carol was it.
She was beautiful, she was sexy, she was the perfect mother and everyone loved Carol. I came from an intact family with an amazing mother and somehow the Brady Bunch made me wish that I had a stepmom. Boys lusted after her and girls wanted to be her. She was the cool mom. But so was the actress, Florence Henderson.
The two, the actress and the character were interchangeable in our minds and hearts. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to interview her on the Dennis and Judi show for a project she was promoting (as she worked her ass off till the bitter end) and she was adorable spry, funny, whip smart and sexy and talking to her was everything I imagined.
I can't tell you how many texts and emails I received from friends and loved ones giving me "condolences". People knew how much I loved that show and how much fun I found it. And how much I admired her.
It was a sad weekend for me and I knew exactly why they were saying I'm sorry. It's not that (God forbid) I lost a loved one, but it's also sad to lose a little piece of your childhood.
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