“The Brady Bunch” matriarch Florence Henderson, quite possibly the most beloved TV mom for a generation of viewers, died Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 82.
According to the Associated Press, Henderson died Thanksgiving night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized the day before. Her manager to the news service that Henderson had suffered heart failure, and that family and friends had surrounded Henderson’s hospital bedside.
Henderson had just been seen earlier this week on “Dancing with the Stars,” offering support to fellow “Brady Bunch” star Maureen McCormick, who was a contestant on the competition series this season. (Henderson similarly competed on the show in 2010.)
Henderson was best known for playing Carol Brady on “The Brady Bunch” and its several reincarnations (and TV movies) over the years. But her expansive TV career also included a stint on NBC’s “Today” show, and was even the first woman to guest host “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Henderson began her career in musicals, and originated the title role of “Fanny” on Broadway. She was also the spokesperson for Wesson cooking oil for two decades.
Henderson’s film roles included “Shakes the Clown,” and most recently, the parody “Fifty Shades of Black.” She even had a cameo as Grandma Brady in the 1995 film spoof “The Brady Bunch Movie.”
Henderson is survived by four children and five grandchildren.