Florence Henderson, who played a second mother to the children of the early 1970s on The Brady Bunch, died on November 24 from heart failure. Henderson, who was 82 years old, was a beloved figure in Hollywood with a diverse resume and a long body of worked that earned her a fortune. That fortune, which was estimated to be $10 million, will now be left to her four children.
Here’s a look at Henderson’s net worth, how she earned her money and what she did with it.
1. Henderson Had an Estimated Net Worth of $10 Million
Henderson had an estimated net worth of $10 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimates.
Henderson was born in Dale, Indiana and began her career on the stage, starring in the original production of Fanny. She transitioned to television with The Brady Bunch, which debuted in 1969 on ABC and ended in 1974. She played Carol Brady numerous times after that, appearing in movies and reunion specials.
In recent years, she was a television personality and hosted a cooking show on Retired Living TV, starting in 2013. She previously hosted The Florence Henderson Show, a talkshow that earned her an Emmy nomination in 2010.
Henderson had four children with her first husband, Ira Bernstein. They divorced in 1985 and two years later, she married John Kappas. Kappas died in 2002.
2. Henderson Was a Major Supporter of City of Hope, a Treatment Center for Diabetes, Cancer & Other Life-Threatening Illnesses
Henderson was a longtime supporter of the City of Hope research and treatment center in Durate, California. In 1998, she was named their Woman of the Year for being a spokesperson and supporter of the center. Two years later, she received a Star of Hope for her work.
In 2013, Henderson was named the “Who-Manitarian of the Year” at Universal Studios Hollywood for her work for City of Hope.
3. Henderson’s Career Started on the Broadway Stage & Reached New Heights When She Starred in ‘Fanny’
While Henderson is best known for her work on television today, none of that would have been possible without her start on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut in the 1952 production Wish You Were Here and appeared in a revival of Oklahoma!. In September 1954, the actress was chosen to star in Fanny, which ran for over 800 performances. She later starred in the 1967 revival of South Pacific. She also starred in a major production of The King and I in Los Angeles.
“I did think that would be my career,” Henderson told CTPost.com in 2013. “I loved living in New York and I never thought I would live in L.A.”
When Henderson did Dancing with the Stars in 2010, the process reminded her of her days on Broadway. “The whole thing reminded me of working on Broadway. Rehearsing and then all of a sudden it’s show time and you just gotta get up there and do it,” she told CTPost.com.
In that same interview, Henderson mentioned that she always looked for a challenge. “The whole time I was in Fanny, I never missed a performance. I had bronchitis, a broken rib, broken toes. You only stayed out if you literally could not talk,” she said.
4. Henderson Grew Up in Poverty During the Great Depression & Sang to Earn Money for Her Family When She Was 12
Henderson was born on February 14, 1934 and had a rough childhood during the Great Depression. She was the youngest of 10 children and her father was Joseph Henderson, a tobacco sharecropper. He was 67 years old when she was born. Her mother, Elizabeth Elder Henderson, taught her daughter how to sing and by the time she was 12, she was singing in a store to help earn money for groceries. However, a friend’s parents helped send her to the American Academy in Dramatic Arts in New York when she was 17.
“With these tough economic times, I would advise people if they have to, to let go of things they don’t really need but I would fight to hold on to health and dental care,” Henderson told Dear Doctor. “The health of your mouth and teeth is so important and can prevent other health issues.”
Henderson wrote about her difficult childhood in Life is not a Stage in 2011. Despite her upbringing, she tried to stay positive throughout her life.
“I do think children come in wired a certain way. Why else would I be filled with hope and optimism, you just could not keep me down for very long,” she told Fox News in 2011. “You can call it grace or a gift from God but I do think I came in with it. I had an instinct to gravitate towards people who were smarter than I was, teachers that were nice people that were trying to do things in life that were constructive and that’s what I gravitated to instead of what I saw and what I was in. I didn’t want to be in poverty, I didn’t want to be with people who were doing unpleasant things, I wanted to be better than that. I was lucky that I had that instinct inside of me.”
Henderson’s other works as an author include A Little Cooking, A Little Talking and a Whole Lotta Fun (1988) and Florence Henderson’s Short-Cut Cooking: America’s Favorite Mom Shows You How to Get Food on the Table Fast (1998).
5. Henderson Never Earned an Emmy Nomination for Playing Carol Brady
Henderson’s list of awards on her IMDb page is shockingly bare. She was never nominated for a Primetime Emmy for The Brady Bunch. In 2007, the cast did receive a special Pop Culture Award at the TV Land Awards and she does have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her TV work.
Her last role as an actress was Grandmothers Murder Club, which co-stars Pam Grier and Judge Reinhold. It’s scheduled for a 2017 release.
The last time Henderson starred in a Brady-related project was in 1995’s The Brady Bunch Movie. She also starred in 1988 for the TV special A Very Brady Christmas. She also played the role in The Brady Brides (1981), The Brady Girls Get Married (1981) and The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976-1977).
Henderson’s most recent regular role on television was as host of The Florence Henderson Show and Who’s Cooking With Florence Henderson. Both shows aired on RLTV.