The late Florence Henderson delighted and entertained almost until the very end of her life. The beloved TV mom died Thursday at 82.
Just two years ago, she joined an all-star lineup on the Food Network’s competition show “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off.” Her co-competitors included rapper turned reality show star Vanilla Ice, magician Penn Jillette, comic Chris Kattan, pop star Tiffany – and UGA hero Herschel Walker.
“I had never met any of these people before,” Walker told AJC radio and TV reporter Rodney Ho in January 2014, just before the show aired. “Florence Henderson: I grew up watching ‘The Brady Bunch!'”
The show, hosted by star chefs Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri, gave the stars a chance to shine for their favorite charities. Walker ultimately prevailed with a Southern menu, earning his charity of choice, Patriot Support, a $50,000.
“I thought I would win! I enter every competition to win,”Walker said in an interview posted on the Food Network’s site. “My strategy was to stay focused and keep calm.
But he saw in Henderson a formidable competitor.
“I really didn’t know what to expect coming into the show. I knew I could make a couple of Southern dishes. I was actually a bit nervous because owning a food company there was a lot of pressure on me,” he said. “I thought my biggest competition would be Penn from watching him do other competitions, Florence because I have seen her on shows with cooking oils.”
Henderson charmed the cast throughout her time on the show, at one point accepting donations while sharing some of her past.
“Florence recounts growing up poor and using her singing talent to busk on street corners,” the caption with the photo below, also from the Food Network site, read. “She passes the hat, taking donations, including Guy’s watch. “I would like to donate this to my favorite charity – myself,” she joked. “No, actually, whatever I have in here, I match it, and give to City of Hope.”