However, Polly Holliday dislikes showing any personal weakness or her need for support, comfort and nurturing. Polly abhors emotional dependency and dislikes "complainers".
Polly Holliday becomes very cross if she lacks vigorous physical activity."—that made her famous as waitress Florence Jean Castleberry on the television series Born in Jasper, Walker County, on July 2, 1937, to Ernest Sullivan Holliday, a truck driver, and Velma Mabell Holliday, Polly grew up wanting to be an actress. She lived with her mother in Jasper in a house that was once an Army barrack and spent one day a week with her father.She traveled with him as he delivered lumber and stopped at dozens of roadside cafes and truck stops, where she encountered many of the feisty, gum-chewing waitresses who would later shape her most famous character. She graduated with a degree in piano in 1959, earned a master's in music education from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 1960, and then taught music in the Sarasota public schools.Holliday channeled their mannerisms, especially the way they skirted the line between flirtation and seduction to ensure a good tip and a return customer.Holliday also has stated that Flo's constant man hunting was a reflection of her distant and complicated relationship with her own father.