A talented singer, she additionally starred on Broadway in "Fanny" and also in Noel Coward"s last NYC play, and she was a "Today Girl" top top the NBC morning show.

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Florence Henderson, the effervescent stage and also screen performer whose sweet, starring turn on The Brady Bunch make her among the most popular sitcom moms in television history, has died. She to be 82.

Henderson, that in the 1950s source the title function of Fanny in the Broadway musical and then served as a “Today Girl” ~ above the renowned NBC morning program, passed away on Thanksgiving night in ~ Cedars-Sinai Medical facility in Los Angeles, a day after she was hospitalized, her publicist, David Brokaw, called the linked Press.

Henderson had suffered love failure, she manager Kayla Pressman said in a statement. Family and also friends surrounded Henderson’s hospital bedside, Pressman said.


The Indiana native also made background as The this evening Show‘s very first female guest organize when she sat in for Johnny Carson in 1962, was a mainstay on variety and game shows and also spent more than two years singing around “Wessonality” together a pitchwoman for a vegetables cooking-oil product.

From 1969-74, Henderson play the unflappable matriarch Carol Brady ~ above ABC’s The Brady Bunch. Together laid the end in the show’s theme song performed by Peppermint Trolley Company, Carol at some point met this fellow, widowed architect Mike Brady (Robert Reed), and they married and linked her three girls native a previous marriage and also his three boys right into one big family. (The display never did define just what taken place to Carol’s first husband.)


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Brady Bunchcreator Sherwood Schwartz (also the creator that Gilligan’s Island) initially had actors the bubbly Joyce Bulifant come play Carol, envisioning a funnier version of the character, and comedy veteran catalent Freeman was tapped come play Alice, the Bradys‘ housekeeper. Yet the chemistry wasn’t working, and the manufacturing started looking roughly for alternates. Henderson was just finishing up a guest point out on The Dean young name Show as soon as her agent called and also asked she to go to paramount to review for a sitcom.

Henderson, booked to leave for Houston because that a nightclub gig, wasn’t interested.

“I said, ‘I don’t want to execute a series. Ns live in brand-new York,’ ” Henderson said during a 1999 interview v the save of American Television. Yet her certified dealer persisted, and also the actress agreed to meet with Schwartz and also director John rich as lengthy as she didn’t miss her plane. In ~ the meeting, they speak Henderson right into doing a screen test.


“We’re top top the Star Trek set. They make me up in the Star Trek dressing room. Invoice Shatner remained in there. No overly friendly, I might add, which I have razzed him about many times end the years,” she recalled. “They make me up. Ns went earlier and did a screen test. Not with Robert Reed, with an additional actor. Castle thanked me really much. I got on my plane to Houston that night.”

The following day, just prior to Henderson to be going to take it the stage, she obtained a contact to go back to L.A. To do The Brady Bunch pilot. After part juggling to discover a replacement for her Houston run (Henderson believed it to be singer Jerry Vale), she did exactly that.

Henderson was on location in Europefilming Song the Norway (1970) — her function debut — once she learned The Brady Bunch had actually been choose to go to series. (Meanwhile, the function of the housekeeper saw Ann B. Davis.)

Most that the comedy the the sitcom’s 117 episodes came from the silly, regularly innocuous, antics the the kids as they learned come live with each other under one suburban roof. Yet no issue what trouble the kids got into, Carol and Mike constantly were there to pertained to the rescue, supplying sage wisdom and also loving parenting.

“There were certain things I carried to the function … my suffer as a young parent, the reality that I construed kids, that ns felt close come them. I was yes, really the only one ~ above the collection who was married, who had actually children,” Henderson said in the TV save interview. “In a way, I type of came to be the stability of the show. Ns think Sherwood observed that, the I might be funny, however I could also bring the empathy or what was important for a show like that.”

Audiences embraced the idyllic, stable and loving Brady family as lot as they laughed at the show’s unrealistic ’70s kitschiness. That seemed choose the perfect counter-programing to together adult-oriented comedies that the era together All in the Family, Maude and also The mar Tyler Moore Show.


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Florence Henderson to be born ~ above Feb. 14, 1934, in Dale, Ind. The youngest that 10 children, she prospered up in poverty as the daughter of tobacco sharecropper during the Depression. Henderson credits her mom with teaching her exactly how to sing, boasting the by age 2 she had learned 50 songs. She talent was undeniable, and she frequently performed together a son to knife extra money for her folks.

Her love of musical theatre blossomed in high school. ~ she i graduated from St. Francis Academy in Owensboro, Ky. In 1951, the wealthy family members of a friend readily available to sponsor Henderson’s research studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. And also so, at age 17, she headed to brand-new York.

In 1952, Henderson landed her first Broadway role, a one-line part in the music comedy Wish You were Here. Noted in the actors as “The brand-new Girl,” she additionally was a member of the chorus. The was sufficient to draw the fist of Richard Rodgers, who available her the command in the nationwide touring agency of Oklahoma!.

Wish you Were here director mock Logan additionally remembered her. Despite she was just 20 at the time, Logan in 1954 actors her as Fanny in his new Marseilles-set stage musical that the exact same name. During the following two years, Henderson logged virtually 900 performances. (Leslie Caron starred as the title character in Logan’s 1961 movie adaptation.)


Henderson additionally started popping up on regular basis on television. She check out the news and also weather and also occasionally sang top top the Today show from 1959-60 and performed regularly on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show. Her musical talents to be on display on shows hosted by Eddie Fisher, Ed Sullivan and also Bing Crosby, and she teamed v Bill Hayes to perform the commercials on The Patti page Oldsmobile Show.

Henderson likewise landed acting duties on The United claims Steel Hour and played Meg in a 1958 television version of Little Women.

In 1961, she played Maria in the national touring company of The Sound of Music, then went back to Broadway two years later on to star in the original musical The Girl Who concerned Supper, Noel Coward’s last Broadway effort. She likewise starred in a 1967 Lincoln facility production that South Pacific.

Even after it to be canceled, The Brady Bunch never ever really walk away. Despite it received just modest ratings, the sitcom was so popular in syndication, programmers preserved coming up with methods to bring ago the family. An initial came The Brady Bunch selection Hour (1976), a comedy song and dance revue. This was adhered to by the 1981 TV movie The Brady Girls get Married, i m sorry segued into the short-lived sitcom The Brady Brides. There was A really Brady Christmas in 1988, i m sorry spawned an additional sitcom, The Bradys.

In every one, Henderson to be there to bite the family members as Carol Brady.

And as the legend of she most well known character grew, she wasn’t over poking funny at she Goody Two-shoes image. She spoofed that in every little thing from Police Squad! (1982), Shakes the Clown (1991) and also Naked gun 33 ?: The last Insult (1994) to Dickie Roberts: previous Child Star (2003) and also Fifty Shades that Black (2016). She starred as an Amish mother in monster Al Yankovic’s 1996 video parody “Amish Paradise.” A 2003 commercial because that Pepsi twisted teamed her with Ozzy Osbourne. She appeared as it s her in the 2005 reality TV program My fair Brady, i beg your pardon chronicled the marital relationship of Christopher Knight, her TV boy Peter, come America’s following Top Model winner Adrianne Curry.

In 1995, great rebooted the Brady Bunch concept for a attribute film in which Shelley lengthy played the Brady matriarch. Henderson put in a cameo together her mom.

Henderson likewise was a continual game-show demonstrate on such programs as I’ve got a Secret, To tell the Truth, Password All-Stars, The match Game and The Hollywood Squares, and also she retained busy through TV guest spots, appearing on Medical Center, Hart to Hart, The Muppets Show, Alice, Murder, She Wrote, Fantasy Island and also Donnie & Marie. She when joked that she couldn’t mental how numerous times she cruised on The Love Boat.

In 2010, at period 76, she appeared as a contestant ~ above Dancing v the Stars. This week, Henderson attend a taping that the display to assistance contestant Maureen McCormick, that played her earliest TV daughter, Marcia Brady.

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In current years, Henderson’s credits contained Ally McBeal, The King of Queens, 30 Rock, Samantha Who?, Trophy Wife and also Instant Mom. She organized several mirrors for Retirement living TV, consisting of the 2007 talk display Living Live, co-hosted with previous Designing Women star Meshach Taylor, and also Who’s cooking With Florence Henderson, which debuted in 2013.