Celebrity News

Florence Henderson of 'The Brady Bunch' Dead at 82

Florence Henderson of 'The Brady Bunch' Dead at 82
Getty Images

Florence Henderson, a TV icon for her role as America's mom Carol Brady on "The Brady Bunch," has died at 82, the AP reports.

According to a statement by Henderson's publicist David Brokaw, she was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. Wednesday and died Thanksgiving night, surrounded by loved ones, after suffering heart failure.

Getty Images
Henderson and her TV brood in a still from the "Brady Bunch" pilot

Henderson made her Broadway debut in 1952 and achieved success as a singer prior to a busy TV career that spanned 1954 to the present. Along with playing Carol Brady on more than 100 episodes of "The Brady Bunch" from 1969 to 1974, she revived the role numerous times in variety specials and spin-offs, and also in good-natured spoofs of the wholesome mom figure she had created.

She gamely addressed rumors that she had dated her TV son, Barry Williams, after his autobiography recalled an awkward meeting the smitten young man had arranged with her. On her website, Henderson wrote, "That whole thing with Barry got blown way out of proportion. I guess in a sense it was a date, because Barry thought it was. But of course, I had no idea that his intentions were to “date” me. It has made for a good story though!"

In 1995, she made a rare feature-film appearance in the campy "The Brady Bunch Movie," in which she got to play no-nonsense Grandma Brady and put whiny Jan in her place for good. Also memorably, she appeared in "Weird" Al Yankovic's "Amish Paradise" parody of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" in 1996.

Over the years, Henderson has taken on many popular hosting gigs on TV, including the cooking shows "Country Kitchen" and "Who's Cooking with Florence Henderson."

Screen Shot 2016-11-25 at 1.52.16 AM
Henderson and McCormick embrace weeks ago on "Dancing with the Stars."

As recently as Monday, November 21, Henderson attended a taping of "Dancing with the Stars," a show on which she competed in 2010. Her TV daughter, Maureen McCormick, was a contestant this season. Henderson appeared as Carol Brady on Week 2, kicking off McCormick's quickstep set to the theme from "The Brady Bunch" with an exasperated, "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!"

McCormick remembered Henderson on Twitter, calling her a "dear friend."