All the Lives of Florence Henderson

By Helen V Hutchings

She sings. She dances. Of course, she’s an accomplished actress and performer, truly an all-around entertainer. But Florence Henderson also skypes, and e-mails messages and photographs to family and friends, and surfs the net. Florence is very much a testament to the wisdom of remaining engaged and active—mentally and physically—for she too is “one of us”.

Florence Henderson’s Broadway debut was, similar to anyone starting out, a small part. But her abilities and talent quickly caught the eye of the likes of Rogers and Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. Thus two years later in 1954, at the ripe old age of 20, Florence was cast as the star, originating the role of Fanny on Broadway in the musical Fanny. Nearly 1,000 performances later (and remember in those days you really had to “project” vocally as there were no individual microphones amplifying each cast member), it is understating things just a bit to observe Florence Henderson’s career was “well launched”.

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