Actress Florence Henderson, best known for her role as Carol Brady, the cheerful matriarch of The Brady Bunch, has died. She was 82. According to Henderson’s rep, the actress died from heart failure, surrounded by her four children, reported Entertainment Tonight.
The TV icon was recently seen on camera when she attended the taping of Dancing With the Stars on Monday. Her on-screen daughter, Maureen McCormick from Brady Bunch, was a contestant on the show this season. Henderson herself was a contender on the show in 2010.
Brady Bunch premiered in 1969, and Henderson appeared on every episode of the series’ five seasons, as well as in spinoffs The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, The Brady Girls Get Married, The Brady Brides, The Bradys and The Brady
She also hosted her own talk show, The Florence Henderson Show, and cooking show, Who’s Cooking with Florence
Henderson. A native of Dale, Indiana, Henderson was the 10th child in a family of tobacco farmers. She began singing as a toddler.
After graduating from high school, she moved to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Henderson made her debut in 1952 with musical Wish You Were Here. Her stage credits also include starring in the touring production of Oklahoma! where she became lifelong friends with Shirley Jones, Fanny. She was also part of Noel Coward’s last Broadway play, The Girl Who Came to Supper.
Henderson recounted her career in the 2011 memoir Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond. Henderson and Ira Bernstein had four children before divorcing in 1985. She soon married hypnotherapist John Kappas, who died of cancer in 2002.
Various stars took to Twitter to express their grief over her demise. McCormick tweeted, “Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years & in my heart forever. Love & hugs to her family. I’ll miss u dearly.”
Carrie Ann Inaba, who judged Florence on DWTS wrote, “She was like a mom to is (sic) all. I’m grateful I had the
chance to get to know you these past few years.”
Seinfeld star Jason Alexander wrote, “RIP the dear #Florence Henderson. You were a light.” Debra Messing tweeted, “RIP Florence Henderson. ‘The Brady
Debra Messing tweeted, “RIP Florence Henderson. The Brady Bunch was everything.”
Boy George posted, “RIP Florence Henderson. I grew up with the Brady Bunch!”
Holly Robinson Peete said, “I’m wrecked that Florence Henderson passed. Grew up watching her like we all did and got to meet & love her DEARLY My heart is punctured.”
“Florence Henderson-Warm Talented & kind passed away today. Thank you Florence for being such a kind generous friend to Alexis,” wrote Patricia Arquette.
Josh Gad tweeted, “Mrs. Brady was a mother to us all. You will be missed.”