The Brady Bunch’s Florence Henderson has died from heart failure late on Thanksgiving Day, aged 82.
Henderson, who spent decades in the iconic role of Carol Brady, died surrounded by family and friends at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, her manager Kayla Pressman said. She was admitted to hospital on Wednesday.
From Daily Mail
TV’s favorite sitcom mom, the actress was best known for The Brady Bunch which first aired in 1969 and continued in one form or another right up to the 1990s.
Maureen McCormick, who played the role of Marcia Brady on the show, has led tributes to the star.
She reacted to the death of her TV mom via Twitter, writing: ‘Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years and in my heart forever. Love and hugs to her family. I’ll miss you dearly.’
Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette has also paid tribute Henderson. She thanked her for being ‘such a kind generous friend’ to her late sibling, Alexis Arquette, and described Henderson as ‘warm, talented and kind’.
Actress Marlee Matlin said Henderson was ‘everyone’s mom and my friend’ and Al Yankovic wrote on Twitter ‘it was a true honor to have known and worked with her’.
Dancing With The Stars members joined in on the online tributes to Henderson, who appeared on the show twice. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said ‘she was like a mom to us all’ and pro dancer Sasha Farber said ‘we just lost a legend’.
Speaking about The Brady Bunch in 1999, Henderson said: ‘It represents what people always wanted: a loving family. It’s such a gentle, innocent, sweet show, and I guess it proved there’s always an audience for that.’
Premiering in 1969, it also was among the first shows to introduce to television the blended family.
As its theme song reminded viewers each week, Henderson’s Carol was a single mother raising three daughters when she met her TV husband, Robert Reed’s Mike Brady, a single father who was raising three boys.
The eight of them became ‘The Brady Bunch,’ with a quirky housekeeper, played by Ann B. Davis, thrown into the mix.
The blonde, ever-smiling Henderson was already a Broadway star when the show began, having originated the title role in the musical ‘Fanny.’ But after ‘The Brady Bunch,’ she would always be known to fans as Carol Brady.
‘We had to have security guards with us. Fans were hanging on our doors. We couldn’t go out by ourselves. We were like the Beatles!’ she said of the attention the show brought the cast.
Like the Beatles, there was even a Saturday morning cartoon version called ‘Brady Kids,’ although Henderson was not in that show.
She and Reed did return, however, for ‘The Brady Bunch Hour, ‘The Brady Brides’ and ‘The Bradys.’ So did most of the original cast.
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