Who is Florence LaRue?
A singer and actress, and an original member of the popular American music vocal group The 5th Dimension, whose range of song includes soul, jazz, light opera, R&B, pop, and a mélange known as ‘champagne soul’, Florence LaRue was born under the zodiac sign of Aquarians on 4 February 1942, in Plainfield, New Jersey USA. She holds American nationality, and her ethnicity is African-American. Florence is perhaps known best as the female lead voice of The 5th Dimension, but she’s also known for her roles in series such as “It Takes a Thief” and “The Andy Williams Show”, while she was also seen starring in the 1983 movie “Happy”.
And then in 2009, as Adriana in the romantic comedy “The Greatest Song”, also starring Joe Clair, Aida Rodriguez and Lamman Rucker.
Early life and education
Although born in Plainfield, Florence was raised in Glenside, Pennsylvania by her parents Sara and James Harris LaRue, about whom little is known; she also hasn’t spoken about having any siblings thus many people assume that she was their only child. Florence had an interest in music from an early age, and when she was in elementary school, began taking violin and dance classes.
Upon matriculating from high school in 1960, she moved with her family to Los Angeles, California, where she enrolled at Los Angeles City College, and received her an Associate’s degree in Music, then continued her education at California State University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1965.
Florence intended to work as a teacher, and had never dreamed of becoming a singer, however, the faith had another plan for her. She was acting in a local theatre and participating in beauty pageants, and after she won a crown for Miss Val Verde of 1965, she was approached by Marylin McCoo and Lamonte McLemore, to join their recently formed group, The Versatile.
‘I had no desire to be a recording artist. I didn’t even want to be in the group when they asked me, because I wasn’t a singer. I was an actress, but they convinced me to join the group and the rest is history, thank God’, Florence remembers with a smile on her face. In 1966, the group changed its name to The 5th Dimension after the recording studio asked for something more ‘jazzier’, and by the early ‘70s, the group had charted with 20 Top 40 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100, with epic hit songs such as “Up, Up and Away” and “Medley: Aquarius/ Let the Sunshine In” winning the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1967 and 1969, respectively.
Besides Florence LaRue, Marylin McCoo, and Lamonte McLemore, the original members of the group were Billy Davis Junior and Ronald Towson, and they had numerous hits, such as “Go Where You Wanna Go”, “Never My Love”, “If I Could Reach You”, and “Living Together, Growing Together”, among many others. The 5th Dimension performed with famous singers such as Frank Sinatra, and toured all around the world, while they also performed at The White House for The President of the United States at that time, Richard Nixon. The group released 13 studio albums during their career, and on 9 August 1991, they were rewarded with their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2002, the group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, while on 18 March 2010, the group was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame, in Missouri. Marylin McCoo and Billy Davis Junior left the group in 1975, but they reunited in 1991 for a tour, however, as of 2009, the group was actively touring as ‘The 5th Dimension featuring Florence LaRue’, since she was the only remaining original member, and led the group, whose other members were now Floyd Smith, Patrice Morris, Leonard Tucker and Willie Wiliams. Florence and the group performed during the late 2000s, and some of their most recent concerts were in June 2016 in The Villages, Florida, and in 2017, at the Andy Williams Performing Arts Centre, in Branson, Missouri.
Where is Florence Larue today?
Most people describe Florence LaRue as a talented, beautiful, and intelligent woman, who had a phenomenal career that brought her six platinum records, 14 Gold records, six Grammy Awards, and numerous others, while she continues to surprise her fans with her endless energy. She’s an advocate for education and health, an active member of the church choir in Van Nuys, California, and also serves with the homeless ministry, however, most of her community service projects are done without publicity.
Her fans can enjoy her acting in the play “Just As I Am”, a one-woman show which she wrote, while she recently finished writing her book, entitled “Let Your Light Shine”, while she published her ‘guide to aging gracefully’ written with Jenny Paschall, entitled “Grace in Your Second Act”.
Love life and relationships
There were various rumors concerning Florence’s love life, however, it’s known that she was previously married to Errol Aubry, a cameraman who worked for Walt Disney Productions. After the two divorced, Florence married Marc Gordon, a record producer, and a former manager of The 5th Dimension, with whom she has a son, Geoffrey, who was born in 1970.
Florence’s third husband was Bennett Curland, an actor, and she is now married to Laurence P. Kantor, a businessman from Los Angeles, California.
Age, height, and net worth
Florence is 80 years old, and has brown hair and brown eyes; there is no information about her vital statistics at the present, however, she used to have almost perfect measurements (35-24-36), and sweighed around 165lbs (75kgs), standing at a height of 5ft 6ins (1.69m). According to sources, as of May 2022, her net worth has been estimated at over $5 million, with most of her income earned throughout her music career.