In the world of children’s television, few shows capture the charm and whimsy of the late ’80s and early ’90s quite like “Under the Umbrella Tree.” Central to the heart of this beloved series was Holly Penelope Higgins, portrayed by the talented Holly Larocque. Today, we dive into the journey of Larocque, tracing her career from her early roles to her iconic performance in “Under the Umbrella Tree,” and exploring what she’s up to now.
Holly Larocque, a Canadian actress and theatre performer, started her career in Ottawa, Ontario. Her early forays into acting included various guest appearances on shows like “Fred Penner’s Place.”
Under the Umbrella Tree
“Under the Umbrella Tree,” a Canadian children’s television series created by Noreen Young, aired from 1987 to 1993 on CBC and later on The Disney Channel. The show revolved around Holly Higgins (Larocque) and her puppet roommates: Iggy the iguana, Jacob the blue jay, and Gloria the gopher.
They lived together in a house on Spring Street in a suburb of Ottawa, named for its prominent indoor umbrella tree. The series produced a total of 285 episodes, each focusing on different themes like sports, holidays, and various activities. The show was not just entertaining but also educational, weaving valuable life lessons into every episode
In her role, Larocque played Holly Higgins, the only human character in the series. She was portrayed as a parental figure and mentor to her puppet roommates but saw them more as equals. Her character was known for being funny, artistic, patient, and generous, handling most of the housework and acting as a stabilizing force in the household
Career after Under the Umbrella Tree
In the years following “Under the Umbrella Tree,” Larocque took on the role of a host for the TV series “Homes by Design” from 1999 to 2001.
Larocque also embarked on a passionate journey into the world of music, particularly the big band genre of the 1940s. Influenced by her childhood experiences with her father, a World War II veteran, Larocque developed a deep appreciation for this era’s music.
In 1995, she created and starred in a WWII troop show backed by the Canadian Forces Band, touring across Canada. This project was not only a tribute to veterans but also marked the beginning of her long-standing collaboration with Mark Ferguson. Their partnership flourished, leading to the formation of the Mark Ferguson Orchestra. Together, they aimed to recreate the experience of 1940s big band concerts, complete with period-rich glamour and authentic stylings.
Their repertoire, a mix of classic tunes and original compositions, was designed to resonate with both older and newer generations.
Holly Larocque reprised her iconic role as Holly Higgins in 2020 for an online COVID-19 service special.
Since then, Larocque has remained relatively private, with little known about her current endeavors. There have been no recent news interviews or updates from the actress, who has no public social media presence.
It seems Larocque has stepped back from the spotlight in the past few years, keeping details of her personal and professional life out of the public eye.
We wish Holly Larocque continued health, happiness, and success in all her endeavors, both personal and professional.