Thursday, June 8, 2017

Findadeath Update - Florence Henderson

Florence Henderson

February 14, 1934 – November 24, 2016

“I can’t decide whether to commit suicide or go bowling.”

Sometimes I wish I could be transported back to the day when The Brady Bunch house wasn't ransacked by burglars, dad Brady didn’t have HIV, Marcia didn't go to rehab, Greg didn’t insinuate he had an affair with his onscreen mother to sell a book (and doesn’t pay spousal support), Peter goes on Dr. Phil to discuss his marriage problems, Bobby didn’t have a DUI and Thindy wasn’t a politically judgmental bully and Alice wasn’t a lez.  NOT that there’s anything wrong with of that that.  Who ever would have thought that Jan would grow up to be the sane one? 

Interviewer:  Which was your favorite episode?
Eve Plumb – The last one.

 Florence was  successful on Broadway and on television.  She was the first female guest-host on The Tonight Show.   She had an amazing voice and you would know this if you ever endured that first The Brady Bunch Christmas episode when she had laryngitis but miraculously got her voice back to sing in church for Christmas.  Ugh.  

When Florence arrived to do her screen test at Paramount, she had her makeup done in the next-door to Desilu where they were shooting Star Trek.   She claimed she was "made-up" in a chair between Shatner and Nimoy.  They totally ignored her.

Playing Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch from 1969 - 1974 really cemented her in Americana.  Long before she was cemented in Westwood Cemetery.  Hrrr.

Flo-ho was an interesting individual.  I was shocked at how some people reacted to her.  I thought she was fine, but I had a boss that would FLY INTO A RAGE when you mentioned her.  My boss could not explain it, but it was fascinating to watch.  For fun I would just say “Florence Henderson”.  My boss’s head would whip around and with a wide-eyed expression would say, “I HAAATE HER”.

“People often ask me what happened to my first husband?  And I say, I killed him."

    Florence referred to herself as the "Mother of the Mullet" and that her hairstyles attracted an almost cultlike interest.

“I had four children.  And my youngest when we started [The Brady Bunch] was like, oh, gosh, 2 or a little less.  And sometimes my kids would say to me, you know, how come you don’t scream at those kids on television like you do us?”

In the late 1980’s, my friend Bun and I would go to anyplace where someone from 60’s television would show up.  We stood in line to see Adam West and Burt Ward be assholes.  We watched a train-wreck of Eddie Munster on the night before he was arrested for accosting a limo driver.  We took a  3-hour boat-ride tour on Lake Michigan with The Castaways from Gilligans Island… amazing times.

Now this was before there were a shitload of reunion shows and we got to know how douchey some people are.  I still had it for Greg Brady. So, as we got up on the stage and took our places, I was standing next to Greg.  I don’t call him Barry on purpose.  So, he’s standing there, I’m thinking… ‘wow, this is so cool.  I have to grab his butt.’  As you do.

Florence must have sensed it.  She came swooping in and slapped her talons on my chest to distance me from Graig.

Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Florence did have her own family.  Daughters Barbara and Lizzie, sons Joe and Robert.  As her child, that had to be a bit of a mind-fuck.  Having an entire country of people assuming her on-screen kids were her real family.  But apparently Flo kept it in check and her kids are well adjusted.  Flo was a licensed hypnotherapist.

When the actor's on the thow tharted to pass away, someone created thith meme.

It's not really funny anymore.  But this is.

Florence lived for many years in a in a gated community in Marina Del Rey.  

Her house is about halfway down this street.  You see the people playing ball in the street?  One of those is Flo's kid and probably grandchild.  Or great grandchild.  Whatever.  They wouldn't move.  At. All. 

We walked by, said hello and kept walking.  We sat on the curb at the far end for about half an hour thinking that surely they would head in at some point and we could snap a couple of photographs of the house and mailbox, but no go.  I tried to get it in the background behind me.  No go.

After a while they started watching us.  We walked past past them going in the opposite direction and mumbled a hello.  Frankly if I were them I'd have called the cops.  We really did look suspicious.  Well, the gate was open.  We did look for a No Trespassing sign.

I think this is about the time they clocked us.

We took this photograph of the back anyway.

Eve Plumb said inside the house her memorabilia was "beautifully and tastefully displayed, the awards and letters and stuff."

You'll have to go with this photo from the real estate listing.

Florence was diagnosed with heart disease and an irregular heartbeat 10 years prior.  I understand that she had a heart valve repaired in 2008.

Three days before she died,  she attended a taping of Dancing With the Stars in which Maureen McCormick was competing.  

She was in UCLA Medical Nethercutt Emergency Center in Santa Monica when she was pronounced dead of a heart attack at 7:30pm on November 24th 2016.  Thanksgiving Day.

Another victim of 2016

Her children were at her side.

She is cremated and inurned in this lovely niche in Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, just a few doors down from Doris Roberts.

There was a memorial gathering for Florence.  Some of The Brady Bunch kids showed up, some of Florence's kids were there and Marion Ross.  Because, well, of course she was.

There was also a public memorial held in January 2017.  Judge Judy spoke and Carol Burnett attended.  They were close friends.  Respect level for Florence just went up a few notches.

In April of 2017 the Marina Del Rey home went on the market for 2.8 Mil.

Where Florence did stinkys.

Florence has a movie coming out in 2017.  It looks like posthumous fun!

Bad Grandmas

Trivia:  The Brady telephone number was 762-0799

More Trivia:  Robert Reed's telephone number was 441-1742.  Ask me how I know.
I'll tell you how I know.
I have Rock Hudson's rolodex and I looked it up.

Rest in Peace, Florence.


Back when they were filming the first BB Movie I was on the Paramount lot and got to snoop around a bit.  I peeked into a sound stage and found myself looking at The Brady Bunch living room in living color.  That's the story

I'm not implying that Florence was Richard Shoat, but she was no stranger to sexy time.  She dumped her first hubby because he wouldn't put out.  They had 4 kids and she made a joke that they only had sex 4 times.  She had an affair with NY Mayor John Lindsay and got the crabs.

"Guess I learned the hard way that crabs do not discriminate, but cross over
all socioeconomic strata."

Woah-oh Professor Feder!

Trivia:  When they did the first BB movie, Florence was offered 5k for a cameo.  She laughed in their faces.  Later, because of fan demand, they came back to her and she was paid very very well.

Before the internet and every single BB episode being at our fingertips, a group in Chicago called The Annoyance Theater started a program called The Real Live Brady Bunch.  They would perform the original TV scripts word for word thus accentuating the campiness of it.  It became a really hot ticket.  It was produced by the Soloway sisters.  Jill and Faith Soloway went on to create work on shows like Six Feet Under,  Transparent, I Love Dick and Courtney Cox's Asshole.  Yep.

Many years later I was going over my files and I found my program from the performance.  It was a fun surprise to see Jane Lynch as Carol.  This particular performance of the Johnny Bravo episode, Eve Plumb performed with the cast.

I'm glad she got over herself.  This appearance on Jenny Jones in 1995 suuuucked.  I would have made her pay her airfare back.  

Word about The Real Live Brady Bunch got back to Sherwood Schwartz who created the show (along with Gilligan's Island) and he flew in to see a performance.  I was fortunate enough to be there that night.  He and his wife Mildred were tops.

FF to a couple of years ago when I was filming a special for E! called Hollywood Death Trip, the AP said to me, "you have to meet Elliot, his family is a showbiz family."  So Elliot introduced himself as Elliot Schwartz and that his grandfather was Sherwood.  I flipped.  I took out my phone and within 15 seconds pulled up a picture I took at Sherwood's grave with the Gilligan character toys.  

Realizing I probably just crossed a huge line, I apologized, but Elliot loved it and shared it with his father.

OH!  We didn't get a photograph of the mailbox, but... wanna see her doorbell call box thingy?
 Hit 5 for FLO!  I always do.

I LOVE THE INTERNET!  Warning - a black hole.  And no, that's not what I meant.  

Don't forget, every January 2nd (JAN 2) is Fake Jan Day, in commemoration of Geri Reischl who took over the "Jan" role in a couple of different Brady incarnations after the series completed in 1975.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Findadeath Update: Mystery Corpse

Before my friend The Godfather of Graving, Roger Sinclair passed away, he gave me a few things.  One was this little booklet of pictures of a funeral and a corpse.  Now I don't remember who it was.  
I'm pretty sure it was a criminal.



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Findadeath Update: For the Love of Dick

Fact:  In 1991 Dick Sargent who portrayed Darren #2 on Bewitched came out as a gay man. 
Actually a tabloid snitched that he was part of the Gays and Sargent took it by the horns and went with it.

Fact:   Elizabeth Montgomery aka Samantha on Bewitched was down with the gays.  Here's a quote from an interview Lizzie did with The Advocate:

“We talked about it on the set that this was about people not being allowed to be what they really are. If you think about it, Bewitched is about repression in general and all the frustration and trouble it can cause. It was a neat message to get across to people at that time in a subtle way.”

Being an all around groovy gal who supports her pals, Elizabeth sat alongside Mr. Sargent in a convertible to co-Grand Marshall the 1992 West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade.

May not be Fact, but I want it to be:

When asked to comment about the day and their being in the parade, Lizzie allegedly said she was doing it,

"For the love of Dick."

Photo by Andrew Whitenack

Please let this be true.

In 2016 Dearly Departed Tours was in the Gay Pride Parade. 

Look!  We have Lizzie's wicker settee in Dearly Departed Tours.

Thanks Andrew Whitenack and Mark Langlois

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Findadeath Update: The Death of Anton Yelchin from Star Trek

Anton Yelchin
March 11, 1989 – June 19, 2016

“I prefer when movies target my heart instead of my mind.”

Anton Yelchin was born in Leningrad.  His parents were professional figure skaters and they came to the US as refugees when he was young.  His parents worked by teaching ice-skating to Americans.  On the suggestion of friends, Anton went into acting.  He earned parts in TV shows and movies like Fright Night and Alpha Dog.  He won several acting awards and his career was going just swell.  

His mega-break happened when he was cast in the latest Star Trek reboot as the Russian character Chekov.  Honestly, couldn’t they get a transgender person?  How racist.

In his free time Anton played guitar.  He was in a band called the Hammerheads for a bit.  

Anton made enough money to purchase a house in the hills of Studio City, CA.  It was built in 1940 and is 1500 square feet with 2 bed 2 baths and a pool.  1.14 mil was the price tag.

You can’t see much of the house from the street, but there is this curiously sandbagged garage.  

The house is high up in the hills so it's secluded and I'm sure the view is spectacular.
Of course Anton was very well liked.  No one is going to say, “He died tragically and he was a dick.” Unless we're talking about Jerry Lewis.  But by most accounts, Anton was not a dick.
He was not known to use drugs.

Yelchin bought a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

In the evening of Saturday June 19, 2016, Anton left his home to attend an 11pm rehearsal.  He started his Jeep and drove up his driveway to the road.

Hey, here’s what you don’t do!: Anton left the Cherokee running, on a steep incline, got out and walked behind it.  

Yeeeaaah… noooooo… 

I don’t know why he got out of the car, but when he did, he did not put the parking brake on. He may have thought he did, but he didn't.
While he was behind it, the 2.5 ton vehicle rolled backward and pinned Yelchin against the brick post attached to the gate to his property.  He was trapped.

When Anton didn’t show up to the rehearsal, which was unusual, friends decided to drive to his house and check on him.  This would have been around 1am

No one knows how long Anton was pinned there, but he was.  For several hours.  Dead.  The Jeep’s engine was still running.  There is supposedly security camera footage of the incident.

Cause of death:  Traumatic asphyxia.  He could not breathe with the weight of the Jeep pressing against him.  He was pinned to the gate. 

He then became a member of the 27 Club.

Fans came to the gates and left flowers at the scene and on social media, the emotional statements spewed.  (When you care enough to hit “send”).  His parents took out an ad in the a paper, thanking people for the support.

Three months prior to the incident, this particular model of Jeep Cherokee was recalled because the gearshift was so, that it could confuse the driver as to which gear it is in.  The driver could “think” that the car is in PARK when it actually was not.
His death was ruled accidental.

TMZ Published his Death Certificate.

Cue the lawsuit against Chrysler/Fiat filed by Anton’s parents.
Train-wreck Lohan queefed out a statement blaming Hollywood for his death.  “Surround your life with good people and know who your true friends are.”  Because your true friends will be there when your car rolls backwards and pins you to a fucking gate.  Asshole.   I hate people.

Anton had a private memorial service 5 days later and is now buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. 

 Prime real estate too.  15 years ago, a plot in that location would cost around 30 grand.  Who knows now?  It’s spitting distance to Mickey Rooney, which I often do.

As I understand it, this is a temporary marker and soon there will be a statue installed.  There are a lot of statues in that area now.  A pal commented that it's starting to look like a chess set.

 It's what he would have wanted.

Star Trek Beyond was released a month after Yelchin’s death, and the film was dedicated to him.

Now here’s the Ding Ding Bizarro WTF thing:  Anton was in a movie called Burying the Ex in 2013.  Some of it was shot in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  I watched the movie.  

Here is a screen capture of Anton.  His own future gravesite is in this shot.
3 years before he died, Anton Yelchin appeared onscreen with his own grave

In October 2016 there was a Star Trek Convention somewhere, to which I say 'of course there was'.
I'm not judging, just observing.  There was a tribute wall for fans to sign for Anton.  In November 2016 and exhibit of Anton’s photography went on display in Hollywood.

Trivia:  The actor Walter Koenig who created the role of Chekov in the original Star Trek series (which was produced by Lucy.  TRUE!) had a son Andrew (who played a creature named "Boner" on Growing Pains) who disappeared back in 2010.  It was big news here.  
Boner ended up topping himself and is buried near Anton at Hollywood Forever.
(Thanks, Chuck).  Sad Chekovs.

On Saturday October 8, 2017 a statue was unveiled at Anton's grave.  A lifesize statue of Anton.  Yes.

Brian Donnelly snagged this ultra spooky picture of it.

Yeah, that's not fucked up at all.

Here it is in all it's glory.

 Vote for Pedro!

Thanks Cathy Kimbrell, BS and Craig.

Wanna see his mailbox?