Florence Henderson had this theory about Carol's first husband
Sherwood Schwartz was inspired to create The Brady Bunch by a four-line article.
Read to Me
'Till the one day when the lady met this fellow
And they knew it was much more than a hunch,
That this group would somehow form a family...
It's the opening to one of the most beloved family sitcoms in TV history. Everyone knows The Brady Bunch and the theme song sets you up right away with the plot. A single mother with three girls marries a single father with three boys. Add a housekeeper, move them all into one house, and hilarity ensues.
But how did Carol come to be a single mother with three kids before she met Mike?
Creator Sherwood Schwartz knows why he chose to create a different kind of family. Schwartz said that, unlike many shows, he can point to the exact moment he got inspired to create The Brady Bunch.
"It was just a four-line filler piece in the Los Angeles Times," Schwartz said. "Just a statistic. It said that year, 1965, 31 percent of all marriages involved people who had a child or children from a previous marriage. It was just a statistic, but to me it indicated a remarkable sociological change in our country."
That statistic led him to create one of the most famous blended families. But still, how did this family happen in the first place? Schwartz claimed in interviews that Carol was divorced, although it was never mentioned on the show. Divorce was still relatively taboo in 1969, when the show started, so it's likely that the network just sidestepped any mention of a polarizing topic.
But Florence Henderson had her own ideas. "No, nobody ever said [what happened to Carol’s husband]. I always said I just got rid of him."
Wait, "got rid of him"?
"I killed my husband," Henderson said in interviews. "I was the original black widow!"
Uh-oh, Mike Brady had better be careful!