Florence Henderson Opens Up
TV mom shares surprising personal stories
- Duration 5:59
- Date Oct 9, 2011
TV mom shares surprising personal stories
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She was Carol Brady the mother of the all American family on the Brady Bunch.
But in her new book life is not a stage she says her upbringing and personal life -- not always very Brady.
Please welcome Florence Henderson.
Thank you so much.
I think all of -- sort of believe that.
Is Carol Brady yes and she's always had this idyllic American life it's just per day -- everything works out.
Within 29 minutes and thirty seconds like a sitcom is supposed to do.
Once was tough for you starting out -- to talk about those early days growing up in Indiana.
I'm the youngest of ten children.
Born on the little tiny farm in -- in Indiana.
My father didn't married -- He was -- was fifty and and then He had ten children and like I said I was the ten.
I was form when He was close to seventy.
He was a sharecropper and dirt farmer.
I often think -- they had all -- of those kids at that age.
That quick -- up -- that kind of impressive if left.
-- you know that I come -- that I thought.
My -- I had left my father was a wonderful man but He also was an alcohol.
And I became aware of that when I was about five or six years old was He abusive.
Except when He was drinking and then.
You know sometimes I think as I got older my mother left when I was about twelve or thirteen.
And I think sometimes when He was drinking I think He thought I was.
I was my mother.
It was a bit of a piece in the book now it's very poignant and in fact we've got a screen shot of it here.
It's about your dad and this is what you say while things never degenerated to a more severe form of sexual assault.
The sacred bond of comfort protection and safety that a child wants to have -- their father were damaged forever yeah tell me what.
What He did what happened and and how did that affect you you -- a little coral at that time.
Well I think the whole.
Think with my sister Betty and I write about in the book was that we were the ones left to take care my father -- the only two left at home.
And I would just starting high school and when He -- gonna be and should I mean we had to take turns staying home from school to take care of him and you know -- he'd be.
Laying on the couch so sick and tired and he's old gal rub my back which -- is from and I brought this back -- -- and -- beyond my leg and and then one day.
Thought I was there -- myself my older sister had come and was outside and He.
Grabbed me you really holding me and and I wanted to kiss me and I said oh daddy stop that you know don't do that.
And so I went and got my sister and I told her she said -- He wouldn't do -- -- -- act and I said.
Now he's -- seem to wait.
I went back and He tried again and my sister came in my oldest sister and she was shaking her finger.
And -- you know it's tough because that that trust and yet.
I think it sets up.
A confusion and a child because you love that person -- -- so much you want them to be well you want them to be healthy.
And this is the days before Oprah people didn't have the opportunity to hear stories of other people no one knew this was going on no one knew and I was raised you know a strict Catholics -- you just didn't.
Talk about those -- issued an ever talk about your family never said anything bad.
About your family and so all of those things you know about I think if you're the child of an alcoholic -- You become very hyper vigilant.
Very aware there's so -- great -- gets better real treasures from the -- care about Florence but.
Carol it was kind I don't know that I have this game was ever -- ready.
That you know why is going to hit and after the show us now would you forgive anything with that -- look at that.
-- Want to ask about.
There was -- a special moment you talk about in the book that you were asked to do a role in which you would be in.
A nun's habit and you said no that you had too much respect for the sisters and I thought that was a remarkable.
Display of your own sense.
Of honor toward some of the people who had been your teachers.
I -- everything into my teacher I received an honorary doctorate from -- college and -- for a Kentucky wrote a high school.
And I and my whole speech was about my teachers and many of them.
-- in the audience.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- But I thought they were nurturing me I didn't realize that but teachers to me.
And I was raised by the benedictine nuns and priests and I -- them so much elements -- -- -- teachers throughout my life you know there's so many people that you meet in life.
Who become your teacher.
And I never forget after.
Who will never forget you Florence Henderson you are delightful person to be around I'm so glad I had a chance for you Governor Huckabee I thank you I'm a fan of -- while I -- I need all I can get at least pass at all quite -- -- I didn't chill run again because.
We need somebody out there and you know I might have a shot if Florence Henderson would be the running mate -- -- I mean that's.
So very much.