Florence Henderson's childhood was anything but an episode of The Brady Bunch

"Accept where you came from and never apologize for it."

Family life on The Brady Bunch can be so picturesque that it starts to feel a little unbelievable at times. That family has six children in that house, and they still manage to resolve any issues perfectly before the end of a twenty-five-minute episode. If you were raised with siblings, you know that task is inching toward the impossible, never mind the fact that The Brady's were more than willing to do it all over again next week.

People who grew up watching The Brady Bunch found it to be a home away from home - an enviable family lifestyle that they tried to live through if they couldn't emulate them in their day-to-day reality. But as it turns out, the perfect Brady lifestyle was idealistic even for some of the Bradys themselves. 

In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Florence Henderson described her upbringing, a childhood that found Henderson and her family struggling. The actor described growing up in poverty, and explained "Life was tough." Her childhood home was without running water and electricity, and Henderson took on a share of the work in growing tobacco with her father at a young age.

It's the sort of lifestyle that some kids today can scarcely imagine, but Henderson said that her difficult childhood only fueled her own ambitions. She said, "Sometimes sweat and exhaustion can be great motivators." She added, "I grew up with the feeling that I could survive anything."

Another key to Henderson's motivation was her mother, whom the actor spoke very highly of. She said, "I think strong mothers are a common bond among many of us in the entertainment field-especially those of us who came from poverty, where you either developed tremendous inner strength or were destroyed."

But even after she found fame and that childhood ambition led her to great heights, Henderson was still sure to remember that where she had been was responsible for where she was going. She said, "Accept where you came from and never apologize for it."

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3 Comments

CannonsMustache 5 months ago
Florence grew up in and around Dale IN, St Meinrad IN, Mariah Hill IN, Rockport IN and Owensboro KY located in Southern Indiana/Kentucky where my in laws were also raised. She grew up near Lincoln City IN where Abe Lincoln had lived and practiced law early in his life. My dad & father in law used to work with Florence's brother at Whirlpool, the biggest employer in the area during the 1960's-1980's, an hour south in Evansville IN. My in-laws didn't know her personally, but knew of her family.
Pacificsun 5 months ago
Nice story! FH's persona reflected a positive attitude and kindness!
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