The Talk: Florence Henderson’s 80th Birthday & Brady Bunch Reunion


The Talk: Florence Henderson’s 80th birthday

Florence Henderson, who played Carol Brady on The Brady Bunchcame by The Talk to celebrate her 80th birthday. Sheryl Underwood asked Florence how Carol Brady would feel about turning 80. Florence said she’d probably feel the same way she does: a little nervous, excited, and dating younger men.

The Talk: Florence Henderson Auditioning For Carol Brady

The Talk: Florence Henderson's 80th Birthday & Brady Bunch Reunion

Florence Henderson visited The Talk to celebrate her 80th birthday and the cast of The Brady Bunch came by to help her celebrate it. (Everett Collection /


Florence Henderson said that when she auditioned for Carol Brady she was doing The Dean Martin Show, and her manager suggested meeting with Paramount to talk about a series. She said she didn’t want to do a TV series because she loved doing theater and lived in New York. But she did a test for them and they called her to ask her to film the pilot.

By the time the show went to series, she was filming a movie in Norway. She wasn’t able to start the show yet, so they filmed the first six episodes without her and added her in later.

The Talk: Florence Henderson Robert Reed In The Closet

Florence Henderson’s costar Robert Reed, who played the patriarch of the family, was gay and had to be closeted at that time. Sara Gilbert asked Florence what it was like for him to play that role and hide himself like that. Florence said that she thought he suffered tremendously.


She also said that in the pilot, they had a love scene and he got very nervous. The director started to give him tips on how to do it and Florence realized from the way Robert Reed was acting in the scene that he was gay. So she pulled the director aside and told him to back off a little and Florence and Robert worked it out.

Florence also said that all of the kids knew he was gay and no one really cared, because they loved him.

The Talk: Brady Bunch Reunion

Then it was time for the Brady clan to join. Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, and Susan Olsen, who played Greg, Peter, Bobby, and Cindy, respectively, came on to say hello to their former TV mom.

The Talk: Susan Olsen Brady Bunch

Susan Olsen was just seven when she started the pilot and she said she remembered the first day of rehearsal, it was a little confusing for her, because she had to meet her new family. She said she remembered thinking Florence Henderson was so beautiful with “eyes like a doe.”

The Talk: Barry Williams Attracted To Florence Henderson

Barry Williams said that when he met Florence Henderson for the first time, he was 14 and he kept thinking, “Oh, mama!”

The Talk: Christopher Knight On Florence Henderson

Christopher Knight said that in a lot of ways, Florence Henderson was their mom, especially when they were acting. Christopher said he could be a little rambunctious and the kids’ real mothers weren’t around while they were filming, so Florence took over that role.

The Talk: Mike Lookinland Florence Henderson’s Advice

Mike Lookinland said that Florence Henderson gave him a lot of advice during the show. He said she was a true professional and they all really came together as a family. He said Florence told him to always be nice to his fans, because without fans, there’s no show.

He said that when they were doing the Brady Bunch Variety Hourhe was 17 and he was iffy about what they were doing. He didn’t always come to the rehearsals. Florence Henderson came to him and told him that if his heart wasn’t in it, then he shouldn’t be in it either.

The Talk: Eve Plumb’s Message To Florence Henderson

Eve Plumb, who played Jan, couldn’t be on The Talk, so she sent a special video message for Florence Henderson. She said that her and Florence are looking more and more like sisters than mother and daughter. She thanked Florence for teaching her how to be a professional and for all the guidance over the years.

The Talk: Christopher Knight Throwing The Football

Christopher Knight said that he loved torturing Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady. When his character got to hit her in the face with a football, he was really excited. But the person who actually threw it was the prop man. The football really hit her in the face, but it was thrown very softly.

Then they revealed a giant picture of Marica and Christopher and Mike got to throw footballs at it. Both men were really excited.


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