Like the rest of the nation, we here at Medical Guardian were devastated to hear about the passing of beloved actress Florence Henderson on November 24, 2016, due to heart failure. Although sudden, she was surrounded by the family and friends to whom she showed relentless love and dedication throughout her entire life.
As our Senior Safety Advocate from 2015 to 2016, we had the immense pleasure and honor of working with such an amazing woman, and we would like to share just how much Florence meant to all of us here at Medical Guardian. In the words of our CEO Geoff Gross:
“Florence was not only the spokesperson for Medical Guardian; she was a friend. I feel lucky to have known her and spent time with her. She had a true zest for life, and being around her always made me feel inspired. I will miss her dearly and always remember her fondly.”
An Entertainment Icon
Florence Henderson was much more than America’s favorite TV mom -- she was an entertainment icon whose career spanned across almost every genre of the performing arts for six decades.
From a young age, Florence know that performing was her calling. Within a year of attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she became a Broadway star after landing the role of Laurey in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical, “Oklahoma” at the age of 17. She then gave close to 1,000 performances as the lead role in “Fanny” and starred in many other musicals.
She soon moved from Broadway to television, accepting the job as the “Today Show” Girl alongside pioneering broadcaster Dave Garroway, but the role she is most known for, of course, was Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch.” From 1969 to 1974, Florence entertained families nationwide and became one of the most popular mothers in television history.
Even after filming of the “The Brady Bunch” ended, Florence never lost her love of performing. In more recent years, Florence hosted a talk show, “The Florence Henderson Show,” her own cooking show, “Who’s Cooking With Florence Henderson,” and gave motivational speeches. But amid her non-stop work schedule, her priority was always her family, notably her four children and five grandchildren.
As a true testament to the impact she made on the entertainment industry, Florence was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute's first permanent Entertainment History Exhibit as one of the greatest pop cultural icons of all time in November 2008. She was also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.
Her natural-born talent combined with her unbelievable work ethic made Florence Henderson one of the most respected and endearing performers of our time.
Florence and Medical Guardian
In January 2015, Florence Henderson partnered with Medical Guardian to help older Americans age safely in their homes. As our Senior Safety Advocate, she embodied everything we want for our clients: independence.
Florence never let her age hold her back from doing what she loved, whether that was hosting her own cooking show, giving motivational speeches or spending time with her beloved family and friends. For the past two years, Florence showed millions of older Americans that age really is just a number, and that it is possible for seniors to maintain an active and independent lifestyle while ensuring their personal safety.
She was proud to be affiliated with Medical Guardian, and we are so thankful that we were given the opportunity to work closely with her. It truly was an honor to know “America’s Favorite Mom,” and we could not have asked for a better or more inspiring first spokesperson.
Forever Young, Forever Florence
Anyone who met Florence knew that she had such a love for life. Not only did she age with grace and dignity, but she also found a way to stay young at heart through her unique perspective on life, as proven in the video below:
When asked how she would like to be remembered in a 1999 Archive of American Television interview, she answered, “Probably as someone who survived for a long time in a very tough business and, hopefully, managed to retain a sense of humanity.” Florence achieved exactly that, and that is how she will be remembered.
We will miss you, Florence, and you will always hold a special place in our hearts.