Let’s Get Connected

Now that Christmas has come and gone, is your brain a bit overloaded?  To help you clear the cobwebs and start thinking again,  today’s blog is all about making connections.  Once you have answered all the questions, check out the answers at the end of the blog.

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Part I.  Try to guess which star was on each of the following shows. For example, if I said Bachelor Father, To Rome with Love, Dynasty, Charlie’s Angels – the answer would be John Forsythe.

  1. EasyOne Man’s Family, Mr. Peepers, The Odd Couple, Love Sidney
  2. EasierLeave It to Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mothers-in-Law, BJ and the Bear
  3. HarderThe Bob Cummings Show, Petticoat Junction, That Girl, The Partridge Family
  4. Challenge – Hint: This person only appeared on only one episode of each of these series – I Love Lucy, Bachelor Father, The Andy Griffith Show, George Lopez

Part II. Try to figure out how to get from the first show listed to the second show. Each of the stars above is part of one of the links below. For example, if I said Peter Tong on Bachelor Father to Kyle Chandler on Bloodline, the answer would be Peter Tong on Bachelor Father with John Forsythe who was in Dynasty with Heather Locklear who starred in Spin City with Connie Britton who starred in Friday Night Lights with Kyle Chandler who was in Bloodline.

  1. Easier– Tony Dow on Leave it to Beaver to Ed O’Neill on Modern Family
  2. Harder – Wally Cox on Mr. Peepers to Natascha McElhone on Designated Survivor
  3. Challenge – Bob Cummings on Love That Bob to Eddie Cahill on Conviction
  4. Most Challenging – Janis Paige on It’s Always Jan to AnnaLynne McCord on The Night Shift
  5. For a bonus, for each of the four stars in Part I, which two of them were on The Love Boat?
  6. For extra credit, the two stars not in The Love Boat were in a show with “Love” in the title. What were the other two shows?

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Answers

  1. Rosemary Decamp
  2. Richard Deacon
  3. Tony Randall
  4. Barbara Eden
  5. Tony Dow (Wally) on Leave it to Beaver with Richard Deacon (Fred Rutherford) on The Dick Van Dyke Show (Mel Cooley) with Mary Tyler Moore (Laura Petrie) on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Mary Richards) with Gavin MacLeod (Murray Slaughter) on The Love Boat (Captain Stubing) with Ted McGinley (Ace Evans) on Married with Children (Jefferson D’Arcy) with Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy) on Modern Family
  6. Wally Cox on MrPeepers (Robinson Peepers) with Tony Randall (Harvey Weskit) on The Odd Couple (Felix Unger) with Penny Marshall (Myrna) on Laverne and Shirley (Laverne DeFazio) with Michael McKean (Lenny) on The X-Files (Morris Fletcher) with David Duchovny (Fox Muldar) on Californication (Hank Moody) with Natascha McElhone (Karen) on Designated Survivor (Alex Kirkman)
  7. Bob Cummings on Love That Bob (Bob Collins) with Rosemary DeCamp (Margaret MacDonald) on That Girl (Helen Marie) with Ted Bessell (Donald Hollinger) on Good Time Harry (Harry Jenkins) with Marcia Strassman (Carol Younger) on Providence (Meredith) with Melina Kanakaredes (Dr. Sydney Hanson) on CSI: NY (Stella Bonasera) with Eddie Cahill (Don Flack) on Conviction (Conner Wallace)
  8. Janis Paige (Jan Stewart) on It’s Always Jan with Merry Anders (Val Marlowe) on How to Marry a Millionaire (Mike McCall) with Barbara Eden (Loco Jones) on I Dream of Jeannie (Jeannie) with Bill Daily (Major Roger Healey) on The Bob Newhart Show (Howard Borden) with Marcia Wallace (Carol Kester) on Full House (Mrs. Carruthers) with Lori Loughlin (Rebecca Katsopolis) on 90210 (Debbie Wilson) with AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi Clark) on The Night Shift (Jessica Sanders)
  9. Rosemary DeCamp and Richard Deacon
  10. Tony Randall appeared on Love American Style and Barbara Eden was on Loco Love.
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The Perennial Popularity of 1960s Christmas Shows

Ask a variety of people from ages 6-106 and they will tell you it’s just not Christmas until they have seen Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman.  They may have other favorites on their list but all ages can agree on these four.  In our house, The Ozzie and Harriet Nelson episode, “Busy Christmas” is a given every December. Recently I heard sportscaster Bill Michaels say that he saved a night for hot chocolate and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We all have those “other” shows that are on our must-see list. However, even with the Nelson show, the animated specials from the 1960s have to be seen at least once or there’s not as much fa-la-la in the house.  Let’s look at each of the four.

rudolph

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, 1964

Rudolph is born to Donner the Reindeer and Donner’s wife. He is discovered by Santa to have a shiny, glowing red nose. Donner, regardless of Rudolph’s defect, trains him to be a normal reindeer with skills such as gathering food and hiding from the “Abominable Snow Monster,” a giant, furry white beast. To hide Rudolph’s nose, Donner puts dirt on it to cover it with a black coating. This causes Rudolph to talk in a funny accent. Rudolph joins his peers at the Reindeer Games, where he meets Fireball, who is initially friendly and Clarice, a female spectator who takes a liking to Rudolph. Clarice’s flirtation inspires Rudolph to perform better than all of his peers at flying, but in his excitement he knocks the black cover off his nose, revealing a red glow that causes Fireball and the others to turn against him; this distraction, in turn, prompts the coach (Comet) to ban Rudolph from the Reindeer Games. Clarice remains loyal to him, only to be ordered by her father not to shame the family by associating with “a red-nosed reindeer.”

Rudolph soon runs into Hermey, an elf who was forced out of his job at the North Pole’s toy factory; Hermey showed a total lack of interest in the toy making and singing aspects of being an elf and instead wanted to pursue dentistry. They come to the conclusion that they’re both misfits and decide to run away together. On their aimless journey, they run into Yukon Cornelius, the self-described “greatest prospector of the North” who nevertheless seems to never find any silver or gold, and attempt to stay away from the Bumble, an abominable snow monster. Their journey leads them to the Island of Misfit Toys, where toys go when they are abandoned by their owners. King Moonracer, the winged lion that lords over the Island, refuses to let them stay there permanently, instead telling the trio to return home and tell Santa Claus of the toys’ plight, in exchange for one night’s stay on the island. Rudolph refuses the offer and, fearing for his friends’ life, runs off alone.

A now older Rudolph, still unable to find a place in the world, returns home to the North Pole, only to find that his family and Clarice had left to look for him and are now about to be eaten by the Bumble. With the help of Hermey and Yukon, who have come to look for him, they lure the Bumble away and pacify him by knocking him unconscious and allowing Hermey (with dental skills he has acquired by reading books) to remove his sharp teeth. Everyone eventually returns to Santa’s workshop, where a dismayed Santa Claus breaks the bad news that the weather is too bad to take the sleigh out and that Christmas would be canceled. Santa changes his mind when he notices Rudolph’s red nose and asks Rudolph to lead the sleigh team, which he happily accepts.

charlie-brown

A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965

The special begins on a frozen pond, put to use as an ice rink by the Peanuts cast, who skate together as the song “Christmas Time is Here” is heard over the opening credits.

It’s Christmas season, and Charlie Brown is depressed. He confides in Linus this fact, citing his dismay with the over-commercialization of Christmas and his inability to grasp what Christmas is all about; Linus dismisses it as typical Charlie Brown behavior at first. Brown’s depression and aggravation only get exacerbated by the goings-on in the neighborhood. Though his mailbox is empty, he tries sarcastically to thank Violet for the card she never sent him, but Violet just uses the opportunity to put Brown down again. Eventually, Charlie Brown visits Lucy in her psychiatric booth. Lucy, after presumptively diagnosing him with various phobias and admitting she wants real estate as a Christmas gift, determines that Charlie Brown needs more involvement and recommends that he direct a Christmas play. On his way to the auditorium, he finds Snoopy decorating his doghouse for a neighborhood lights and display contest. Continuing onward, he runs into his sister Sally, who asks him to write her letter to Santa Claus. When she hints at having an extremely long and specific list of requests, and says she will accept money as a substitute (“tens and twenties”– a massive amount for a child of Sally’s age in the 1960s), Charlie Brown becomes even more dismayed.

Charlie Brown arrives at the rehearsals, but he is unable to control the situation as the uncooperative kids are more interested in modernizing the play with dancing and lively music. Thinking the play requires “the proper mood,” Charlie Brown decides they need a Christmas tree. Lucy takes over the crowd and dispatches Charlie Brown to get a “big, shiny aluminum tree.” With Linus in tow, Charlie Brown sets off on his quest. When they get to the tree market, filled with numerous trees fitting Lucy’s description, Charlie Brown zeroes in on the only real tree on the lot—a tiny sapling. Linus is reluctant about Charlie Brown’s choice, but Charlie Brown is convinced that after decorating it, it will be just right for the play. They return to the auditorium with the tree, at which point the children (particularly the girls and Snoopy) ridicule, then laugh at Charlie Brown before walking away. In desperation, Charlie Brown loudly asks if anybody really knows what Christmas is all about. Linus, standing alone on the stage, states he can tell him, and recites the angels’ message to the shepherds from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 8 through 14 … ending with “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Charlie Brown quietly picks up the little tree and walks out of the auditorium, intending to take the tree home to decorate and show the others it will work in the play. When he arrives, he stops at Snoopy’s decorated doghouse, which now sports a first prize blue ribbon for winning the display contest. He puts an ornamental ball on the top of his tree; the branch, with the ball still on it, promptly flops over to one side instead of remaining upright, prompting him to declare “I’ve killed it” and run off in disgust at his perpetual failure. Linus and the rest of the group, along with Snoopy, quietly arrive outside Snoopy’s doghouse. Linus goes up to the tree and gently props the drooping branch back to its upright position, wrapping his security blanket around the tree. After they reconsider their previous stance, they add the remaining decorations from Snoopy’s doghouse to the tree and start humming “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Charlie Brown returns, surprised at the humming and the redecorated tree, as his peers greet him with a joyous “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” The entire group joins to sing the first verse of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” as the special ends.

 

grinch

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 1966

The Grinch is a bitter, grouchy, cave-dwelling creature with a heart “two sizes too small” who lives on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep high mountain just north of the town of Whoville, home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos. His only companion is his unloved, but loyal dog, Max. From his cave, the Grinch can hear the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville. Annoyed, he decides to stop Christmas from coming by stealing their presents, trees, and food for their Christmas feast. He crudely disguises himself as Santa Claus, and forces Max, disguised as a reindeer, to drag a sleigh to Whoville. Once there, the Grinch slides down the chimney and steals all of the Whos’ Christmas presents, the Christmas tree, and the log for their fire. He is briefly interrupted in his burglary by Cindy Lou, a little Who girl, but concocts a crafty lie to effect his escape from her home.

The Grinch then takes his sleigh to the top of Mount Crumpit, and prepares to dump all of the presents into the abyss. As dawn breaks, he expects to hear the Whos’ bitter and sorrowful cries, but is confused to hear them singing a joyous Christmas song instead. He puzzles for a moment until it dawns on him that “maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more” than just presents and feasting. The Grinch’s shrunken heart suddenly grows three sizes. The reformed Grinch saves Max from possible death and returns all of the Whos’ presents and trimmings and is warmly invited to the Whos’ feast, where he has the honor of carving the Roast Beast.

frosty

Frosty the Snowman, 1969

One day in a school shortly before Christmas, an inept magician named Professor Hinkle is hired to perform for the children. Following this, the children go outside for recess and build a snowman, whom they name Frosty. However, Hinkle’s rabbit Hocus Pocus, escapes from the building while wearing his hat, which the children decide to put on top of Frosty’s head. To their surprise, the magic of the hat causes Frosty to come to life.

This delights the students, but after seeing that the hat is actually magic, the agitated Hinkle wants it back. The children refuse to turn it over to him, but he eventually gets it. After he leaves, Hocus returns the hat to the children, thus bringing Frosty to life for the second time. The children are very happy with their new friend, but the temperature is rising and Frosty must leave for somewhere that is colder. Frosty explains that the only place he won’t melt is the North Pole. They parade through town to the train station, shocking passersby and a policeman. When they get to the station however, they find that they do not have enough money to buy tickets to the North Pole. So, Karen, Frosty, and Hocus sneak into the back of a train headed north. Hinkle also sneaks aboard, determining to get his hat back.

While Frosty is safe from melting in the refrigerated car, Karen is freezing so the group leaves the train and Hocus gathers a group of woodland creatures to build a fire for her. Frosty knows that it is best if Karen is brought home and he and Hocus decide to enlist the help of Santa Claus to transport her there. Hocus leaves to search for Santa, but Hinkle comes back and tries to take Frosty’s hat by force. Frosty and Karen make a getaway from Hinkle, and race down the hill to a small greenhouse used to grow poinsettias. Frosty carries Karen inside where she will be warm and safe. However, Hinkle has followed them on foot and locks the door after Frosty and Karen go inside.

Hocus brings Santa to the greenhouse only to find Karen crying over a melted Frosty. Santa explains to Karen that Frosty is made of Christmas snow and can never melt away. He then opens the greenhouse door which revives Frosty. However, Hinkle arrives, once again claiming that the hat is still his. Santa scolds Hinkle for being greedy, warns him that if he takes the hat, he will never get another Christmas present from him for the rest of his life. Hinkle begs for another chance and Santa tells him that if he starts acting nicer and writes a formal apology, he might reconsider and possibly give Hinkle a new hat for Christmas, to which an overjoyed Hinkle runs home to write his apologies. Afterward, Santa takes Karen home on his sleigh and brings Frosty back to the North Pole, keeping his promise to her that Frosty will return every year when Christmas snowfall comes around.

What is it about these specific shows that have earned them staying power for 50+ years? I think that there are five factors that ensure their must-see status.

One, each has special music we associate with the show and Christmas, in general.  “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is the song the animation is based on.  A Charlie Brown Christmas features “It’s Christmas Time,” along with the rest of the soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi. Who could forget the words to “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”?  And of course there is “Frosty the Snowman.”

Two, the animation is well done, colorful, and eye-catching, great voices, and exceptional characterizations.

Three, each Christmas special has a lesson. Rudolph teaches us it’s not only okay to be different; those gifts are what makes each of us unique and special. Watching Charlie Brown, we learn that over-commercialization is not the theme of Christmas.  Seems like a lot of us still need to learn this lesson. The Grinch becomes aware that Christmas is not about things, but a feeling of joy. Frosty provides an awareness that Christmas is a magical time and incredible things can happen.

Four, the shows are still marketed.  Part of the success of these shows can be explained by the advent of DVDs.  However, other Christmas specials are available on DVD without the staying power of these four.  Just looking at my Christmas tree reminds me of the potential marketing each of these shows still enjoy. I have several ornaments of the characters on the Rudolph special; we have an entire set of Peanuts Christmas ornaments; a talking Grinch graces our tree that was purchased last year; and we have several Frosty ornaments.

Five, nostalgia might explain some of the popularity but new generations of kids continue to be caught up in the joy of watching these shows year after year.  There were several Frosty sequels and a Rudolph sequel that never attained the popularity of the original shows. It’s more the feeling that they instill in us.

I’m not sure about you, but in looking back over the Christmases of my life, I can’t recall a lot of the gifts I’ve received, although there were many special presents. For me, when I reflect back on Christmas and what makes it heart warming there are several things that come to mind:  attending church late at night on Christmas Eve with the candles and the Christmas hymns, listening to my favorite Christmas songs, the colored lights on houses and trees, the department store windows that were decorated when I was little, and decorating frosted cookies.  It’s those feelings that are conjured up again when I watch these four specials.  I was only 3 when Rudolph came out and I was 8 when Frosty debuted, but I can’t recall a Christmas without these shows.

There are not a lot of things I have been able to count on being there with me for over 50 years, but these four shows are on that list. Watching my grandson the day after Thanksgiving when he was watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas makes me happy that he expressed the same feelings about these shows and hopefully his children will as well.

I hope you’ve been able to enjoy these shows this year, but I have to end this because I have a few Christmas specials to catch up on.

When First You Don’t Succeed, Just Redo an Old Show

If you have been watching television the past few years, you’ve noticed a trend of rebooting old shows and giving them a new spin or writing a sequel.  While this has happened before in the history of television—think After M*A*S*H and Trapper John MD or Dragnet—there has now been an influx of remade shows.  Just the past few years we have two that seem to have done well in Fuller House and Hawaii 50.  However, some didn’t last as long such as The Muppets, which I happened to enjoy.  How many of you remember watching the reboots of Ironside, Charlie’s Angels, Get Smart, Dallas, or Wonder Woman?  And for extra credit, who can name all the sequels of Star Trek over the past few decades?  I’m not sure if this fad is playing on the nostalgia of the baby boomers or just a lack of creativity in Hollywood.

I thought it might be fun to consider what the sequel or reboot of some of my favorite shows from the past might look like.

thirtysomething—In this sequel, sixtysomething, Janie, Leo, Brittany, and Ethan try to deal with their parents who still act like they are 30.   Ellen has had to fight for her job due to city cuts, Melissa is now the wealthiest friend after getting into photography for the internet, Elliott and Nancy are separated, again and she is an artist while he is doing advertising for the Philadelphia Eagles and trying to date the cheerleaders.  Hope and Michael are still married.  Michael has replaced Miles Drentell upon retirement, and Hope is still trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life.

That Girl – In the reboot, That Guy, Ann Marie would be Donald’s boss, a high powered CEO, and he is the reporter trying to get the scoop and stand up for his important stories like global warming when the magazine wants him to write about famous stars and the latest catfights.

My Three Sons—In the sequel, My Twelve Granddaughters, Steve has become a reality star talking about life with 12 granddaughters in the house and the lack of bathrooms and privacy.

Happy Days—the sequel, Hippy Days, explores the life of Richie and Lori Beth’s kids as they grow up in the late sixties and early seventies.

Gray’s Anatomy—the reboot, Gray’s Monotony looks at the life of a hospital where the nurses spend 75% of their time updating computer files and doctors rush around seeing patients and work part-time jobs to pay for their malpractice insurance.  No one has time for affairs or personal relationships.

The Brady Bunch—the sequel combines The Brady Bunch and Alice and stars Ann B. Davis who became a restaurant owner once the Brady kids grew up.  They and their kids still stop in to get advice from Alice.  Alice is single but engaged to Sam the Butcher.

The Andy Griffith Show—the network started making new episodes of the iconic series but realized that life in small town America has not really changed so, part way through the year, they begin showing reruns and no one notices.

Take some time and think about what your favorite shows might look like.  And if you see any of the above shows in the next few years, remember you read about them here first.

The Passing of a Pop-Culture Parent

In memory of Florence Henderson, who passed on away on Thanksgiving, I just wanted to spend some time reviewing her career.  It’s hard not to call someone lucky and successful who became a multimillionaire (10-15 million depending on the source), is well known all over the world, and beloved by many fans. But, after researching her career, I wonder if she had been able to do it over, would she have chosen to take on the role of Carol Brady?

Florence’s life was a far cry from The Brady Bunch; the only similarity was having a huge number of people under one roof.  Her father didn’t marry until his late forties and he married a woman 25 years younger than him. He was a tobacco sharecropper and alcoholic and life was not like a sitcom. Florence, growing up in Indiana, was the tenth child to come along, and her father was close to 70 by the time she was born. Her mother and father divorced when she was a teen and then her mother moved to Cleveland, Ohio to work, and Florence did not see her until she was there for a musical performance. Her father passed away the same time she began a Broadway show. She had to choose between keeping the job and attending her father’s funeral, and she took the job and dealt with the guilt for many years.

During her career she was in eleven Broadway shows. She had a very interesting career.  She was the first woman to fill in as host for the Tonight Show during the transition from Jack Paar to Johnny Carson. She then became a Today girl on the morning show, presenting the weather and light news in 1959. Although she appeared in various commercials, she is best known for promoting Wesson Oil which she did from 1974-1996. Her last appearance before her death was at a taping of Dancing with the Stars which she had competed in along with Maureen McCormick, her daughter Marcia, on The Brady Bunch.

After her iconic role as Carol Brady, she became the queen of one episodes.  She appeared in three episodes of her friend Angela Lansberry’s Murder She Wrote, three shows on Fantasy Island, four times on Dave’s World and ten episodes of The Love Boat, the most of any star. However, from 1975-2016, she worked on 31 shows where she appeared in one episode only. Some of these shows were classic sitcoms such as Alice, Roseanne, Ellen, King of Queens, and 30 Rock. Some were dramas including Medical Center, Hart to Hart, and Ally McBeal. Some were children’s or animated shows such as Scooby-Doo Mystery, Inc.; The Cleveland Show; Handy Manny; and Sofia the First.  However, the most by far were sitcoms that didn’t leave a lasting impression and many are probably quite forgettable.  During those years she appeared on Good Heavens, 3 Girls 3, Glitter, Free Spirit, Night Stand, Samantha Who, Happily Divorced, Trophy Wife, and Instant Mom.

Towards the end of her life, she seemed to find a comfortable place pursuing interesting and wide-ranging activities.  She and best friend Shirley Jones did a series of concerts together, she hosted a couple of shows on the Retirement Living network, and did a lot of interviews.

In 1968, she agreed to play the role of Carol Brady but had not heard anything about the show being picked up and was set to star in The Song of Norway being filmed in Norway.  She left for the musical still thinking The Brady Bunch was a no- go.  However, she later found out it was indeed debuting in 1969. They had to film the first six episodes without her and she did her taping later. Appearing as Carol Brady from 1969-1974 gave her the role of a lifetime.  The Brady Bunch has never been off the air since it debuted which says a lot about the show. Many generations of fans admired her and gave her thanks for being a mother figure to them. Some dreamed of being part of a family like the Bradys and obviously Florence could relate, with her background.

The role made her a national symbol and a lot of money, but you have to wonder what it cost her professionally. It was surprising that both Florence and Shirley Jones became America’s mothers on Friday nights after both being given their start by Rogers and Hammerstein earlier in their careers. They also both wrote “tell-all” books about their lives in show business in 2012 and 2013. Both of these women have been busy their entire lives because they were willing to change along with the times and continue to explore alternatives.

In an interview with Tavis Smiley in 2011, Florence reflected on being Carol Brady: “I’m okay with that.  I think you have to cherish your past because if you don’t cherish your past and love this moment, you have no future. I know a lot of actors hate it when they’re identified with a role. I know what I’ve done in my career . . . I received tremendous affection from people all over the world.”

In a joint interview conducted with Shirley Jones and Florence Henderson, Shirley recalled that her agent told her not to do The Partridge Family.  He said that if she was successful, she would be locked into the role forever.  She wanted a series so she could be home to raise her children, so she took it. She did admit that her agent was right. Even though she had done 20 movies before The Partridge Family, she was forever known as Shirley Partridge. However, she took said at least it was a show she could be proud of and an entire family could watch it together without anything shocking taking place.

After being The Fonz, Henry Winkler was so typecast that he went into directing and producing because he couldn’t get out of the Fonz’s shadow. I’m not sure why this happens to actors. I think it has something to do with the television being in our homes and we begin to relate to these characters as if they’re real people.  We don’t want anything to ruin the fantasy of the character and how genuine they have become to us. Actors in movies seem to be able to move from role to role without the same obstacles as television stars.

I guess if you have to be typecast in a role, the role of Carol Brady is not a bad one to identify with. In a recent interview, Florence talked about that fact and if she has to be Carol Brady forever, at least the show “represents what everyone wants in life, and that is a loving family, unconditional love, a place to make mistakes, to get angry, to be forgiven, and to forgive.

Florence Henderson had four children and many grandchildren and became the type of mother and grandmother she portrayed on television rather than the role model she grew up with. That is certainly a success in any field. Not only did she have close relationships with her own family, but she stayed close to her “Brady family” for the past five decades. If that was not enough, she influenced generations of viewers who hopefully took something of Carol Brady and incorporated it into their idea of what a mother should be like.

I am in that generation who lived for Friday nights to watch The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, wanting to be part of their families, even if it was from a living room across the country.  Along with many viewers from that generation, I was sad to learn of Florence Henderson’s death and did feel like someone special from my life had passed away. Certainly my realization of the ideal mother was based partly on Carol Brady, Shirley Partridge, Donna Stone, Kate Bradley, and even Bentley Greg and Steve Douglas.  With each of their passing, it does feel like losing a family member.

Thank you Florence for your positive outlook, your energy, your wide range of interests, your honesty, and your willingness to take on parenting a whole generation of baby boomers. Rest in peace.

fh