LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (WBRE/WYOU) – Florence Henderson, the former Broadway star who went on to become one of the most beloved TV moms of the ’70’s died Thursday night at the age of 82.
Henderson, who played Carol Brady in the popular TV series played the ever optimistic, understanding mother of the Brach clan throughout much of the 70’s and then reprised the role during “The Brady Bunch” specials well into the 1980’s.
Her publicist says she died Thanksgiving night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized the day before. Her manager said in a statement Henderson died of heart failure with family and friends nearby.
Of the series, which premiered in 1969, 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,” .
The program was also the first on television to highlight the problems of “blended” families as she and her TV husband Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed, merged her three daughters with Mike’s three sons from previous marriages.
Mourners flooded social media with memories of Henderson.