Oh, the things we didn’t know about Mrs. Brady.
Florence Henderson reveals enough dirt to obliterate any visage of a squeaky clean reputation in her new book, which came out Tuesday, “Life Is Not a Stage.” The 77-year-old actress details her hard-knock childhood, her failed first marriage, affairs, (including a romp with a politician that resulted in an embarrassing STD) and struggles with depression.
Below, check out three eyebrow-raising revelations from Henderson’s latest tome:
1. On biting the head off a worm: “One of my earliest memories from that time was going out to the fields to ‘worm the tobacco.’ And if you ever had to worm tobacco, you wouldn’t forget it either! First of all, working with tobacco is very gummy. The resin sticks to the little hairs on your arms and it felt highly unpleasant when anything would brush against us— our skin became like Velcro. My brothers and sisters and I would have to inspect every leaf. When we found the green, two-inch creatures holding on to the back sides of the leaves with their many legs, we’d pick them off, pull them apart, and throw them on the ground.”
“One day, my brothers said that they’d give me a dime if I bit the head off of one of the worms. I did it. I got the dime. It tasted as you might expect, but it was worth it. I went out and bought some candy with it.”
2. On cheating on her husband, Ira Bernstein, with New York City mayor John Lindsay while they were both in California: “I was lonely. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do. So, what did I do? I did it … Guess I learned the hard way that crabs do not discriminate but cross over all socioeconomic strata. He must have had quite the active life. What a way to put the kibosh on a relationship.”
3. On not attending her father’s funeral because she was in a play, and being happy about it: “Naturally, I felt tremendous guilt about the situation. But secretly, deep down inside, there was a sad truth. I was relieved that I didn’t have to go to the funeral. True to character both in life and now in death, the situation with my father, Joseph Henderson, was both complicated and problematic.”