Sunday, November 27, 2011

Life Is Not A Stage - Henderson

Like millions of others, I was a huge fan of The Brady Bunch growing up.  I mean HUGE FAN...I even own all the shows on DVD!  

Over the years, I have really enjoyed reading the various autobiographies that have come out of the show (Barry Williams' Growing Up Brady, Maureen McCormick's Here's The Story).  I am, of course, also a fan of great theater. So I was really excited to see Florence Henderson's book finally come to fruition. Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond by Florence Henderson which looks back on the life of Florence Henderson, Mrs. Carol Brady and theater extraordinaire.

Seen world wide as the quintessential example of motherhood, Henderson lived a childhood far from the Brady experience. Her mother was cold and stand-offish, leaving her siblings and alcoholic father when Henderson was just a teen. Though her father was not a physically abusive drunk, he was apt to overstepping bounds of he'd give Florence and her sister a quick feel every once in a while.

After escaping her childhood home, Florence headed straight for New York where fortune quickly found her. She had a meteoric rise to fame, nearly impossible in today's climate, and was quickly working with the best.  Only after years of success and an extensive repetoire did she decide to give television a shot.  She was a relative success.

Then, she was offered a small part, which she wasn't really that interested in, and figured what the heck.  She suddenly found herself America's favorite mom and that notoriety has only grown in the decades since the show ended!

I really enjoyed reading about Henderson's life and experiences. It was especially interesting to hear about all the New York/Hollywood celebrities she worked with over the years.  Most interesting though was learning about her person life, her marriage that left her unfulfilled for many years until she found the courage to finally end it, amicably, and ultimately find the true love of her life.

What a wonderful read!  For various reasons, this book will appeal to just about everyone.  Spread it around!

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

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