Fast Facts

  • Was the youngest of 10 children born to a Midwestern sharecropper and his wife, who taught her to sing; by age 2 she had a repertoire of 50 songs.
  • Made her Broadway debut at 18 in Wish You Were Here and was soon headlining the touring company of Oklahoma!
  • Her extensive theater credits include leading roles in the Broadway productions of Fanny (1954) and The Girl Who Came to Supper (1963-64).
  • Appeared on NBC's Today from 1959-60 as a "Today Girl."
  • Was the first woman to guest host NBC's The Tonight Show.
  • Followed in the footsteps of her second husband and became a certified hypnotherapist.
  • Inducted into the Smithsonian Institute's first permanent Entertainment History Exhibit in 2008 as one of pop culture's greatest TV icons.
  • Appeared on Dancing With the Stars in 2010.


  • Joseph — Son
  • Elizabeth Henderson — Mother
  • Barbara — Daughter
  • Ira Bernstein — Ex-husband
  • John Kappas — Husband (deceased)
  • Joseph Henderson — Father
  • Robert — Son
  • Elizabeth — Daughter
  • John Henderson — Brother


  • The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York, New York, United States (1953)


  • Birth Name: Florence Agnes Henderson
  • Birth Place: Dale, Indiana, United States
  • Died: November 24, 2016
  • Profession: Actor

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