Florence Henderson's children once asked why she wasn't as nice as Carol Brady
It can be challenging when two families come together to form one big family. Yet, super mom Carol Brady, her husband Mike Brady, and housekeeper Alice kept things in order on The Brady Bunch. Florence Henderson played the classic television mom, and no one else was better for the role.
Henderson had four children when she started her Brady Bunch journey, and in an interview with The Tampa Tribune in 1989, she talked about how being a mom helped her bring a few things to the character of Carol. "I had four children of my own, so I was the only one with hands-on experience on the show," she said. "My youngest was about [2 years old] when the series started."
She continued, "I brought as much to the role [as possible]. But television had a lot of rules. That was 15 years ago. TV parents couldn't really discipline children in any harsh way. You couldn't even raise your voice."
It's normal for actors to be completely different from their roles in real life. However, Henderson's children wanted to know why the Brady kids' mom was nicer than their mom. "When I'd go home, my own children would say, 'Hey, mom, why aren't you that nice at home?' and I'd remind them that my TV children were nice, too, and always obeyed."
Although the show was lighthearted and family-oriented, critics felt the problems in the episodes were solved too easily.
"Some critics jumped on The Brady Bunch because they said it was too sweet. We were criticized for solving little problems in 28 minutes," Henderson said. "But what's wrong with little moral messages that teach children to respect their parents and share with each other? We should be proud of that."
Despite the criticism The Brady Bunch faced, the show was still popular, and Henderson believed it was a success because it also showed a family communicating.
"I think that its appeal is that it shows a family communicating on all levels. The husband and wife communicate. The children communicate with each other and with the parents." [They] all genuinely cared for each other, and the viewers liked that."
Weekdays 8a ET | 5a PT