Florence Henderson, “The Brady Bunch” mom, dies

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LOS ANGELES — Florence Henderson, who went from Broadway star to turn one of America’s many dear radio moms in “The Brady Bunch,” has died, her manager and her publicist said. She was 82.

Henderson died Thursday night during Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized a day before, pronounced her publicist, David Brokaw. Henderson had suffered heart failure, her manager Kayla Pressman pronounced in a statement.

Family and friends had surrounded Henderson’s sanatorium bedside, Pressman said.

On a surface, “The Brady Bunch” with Henderson as a ever-cheerful mama Carol Brady, resembled only another TV sitcom about a family vital in suburban America and removing into a conflicting dumb conditions any week.

But good after it finished a initial run, in 1974, a uncover resonated with audiences, and it returned to radio in several forms again and again, including “The Brady Bunch Hour” in 1977, “The Brady Brides” in 1981 and “The Bradys” in 1990. It was also seen forever in reruns.

(CBS Photo Archive/CBS around Getty Images)

“It represents what people always wanted: a amatory family. It’s such a gentle, innocent, honeyed show, and we theory it valid there’s always an assembly for that,” Henderson pronounced in 1999.

Premiering in 1969, it also was among a initial shows to deliver to radio a blended family. As a thesis strain reminded viewers any week, Henderson’s Carol was a singular mom lifting 3 daughters when she met her TV husband, Robert Reed’s Mike Brady, a singular father who was lifting 3 boys.

The 8 of them became “The Brady Bunch,” with a quirky housekeeper, played by Ann B. Davis, thrown into a mix.

Mourners flooded amicable media with memories of Henderson.

Both her Brady co-star Maureen McCormick and “Dancing With a Stars” horde Tom Bergeron posted their thoughts on Twitter, according to City News Service. Her final open coming was during a Monday, Nov. 21 “Dancing With The Stars” taping where she was in a assembly to support McCormick, who competed this season.

The blonde, ever-smiling Henderson was already a Broadway star when a uncover began, carrying originated a pretension purpose in a low-pitched “Fanny.” But after “The Brady Bunch,” she would always be famous to fans as Carol Brady.

“We had to have confidence guards with us. Fans were unresolved on a doors. We couldn’t go out by ourselves. We were like a Beatles!” she pronounced of a courtesy a uncover brought a cast.

Like a Beatles, there was even a Saturday morning animation chronicle called “Brady Kids,” nonetheless Henderson was not in that show.

She and Reed did return, however, for “The Brady Bunch Hour, “The Brady Brides” and “The Bradys.” So did many of a strange cast.

She was also behind again in 1995 when a new expel was fabricated for “The Brady Bunch Movie,” a witty travesty of a strange show. This time she was Grandma Brady conflicting Shelly Long’s Carol. Numerous memoirs also kept seductiveness in a uncover alive, as expel members suggested they were some-more than only siblings off camera. Barry Williams, who played eldest son Greg Brady, would confess to carrying a vanquish on his TV stepmom. Henderson, in her possess book, denied carrying any attribute with Williams, though did acknowledge a hurl with former New York City mayor John Lindsay.

Henderson was a 19-year-old play tyro in New York when she landed a one-line purpose in a play “Wish You Were Here.”

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were so tender they done her a womanlike lead in a 1952 highway debate of “Oklahoma!” When a uncover returned to Broadway for a reconstruction in 1954, she continued in a purpose and won soap-box reviews.

“She is a genuine thing,” wrote Walter Kerr of a New York Herald Tribune.

To enlarge her career, Henderson took acting, dancing, singing and guitar lessons, even study French and Italian.

She went on to play Maria in a highway prolongation of “The Sound of Music,” was Nellie Forbush in a reconstruction of “South Pacific” and was behind on Broadway with Jose Ferrer in “The Girl Who Came to Supper” in 1963.

She done her film entrance in 1970 in “Song of Norway,” formed on a 1944 operetta with song by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

Her career scarcely came to an finish in 1965 when she unexpected mislaid her conference while appearing in “The King and I” in Los Angeles, and was diagnosed with a condition related to heredity.

“Corrective medicine in both ears easy my hearing,” she pronounced in 2007.

As her TV career blossomed with “The Brady Bunch,” Henderson also began to make visit TV guest appearances. She was a initial lady to horde “The Tonight Show” for a vacationing Johnny Carson.

For 8 years she also commuted to Nashville to control a cooking and speak series, “Country Kitchen,” on The Nashville Network. The uncover resulted in a book, “Florence Henderson’s Short Cut Cooking.”

After “The Brady Bunch” finished a initial run, Henderson alternated her appearances in revivals of a uncover with guest appearances on other programs, including “Hart to Hart,” ‘’Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat.”

In after years she also done guest appearances on such shows as “Roseanne, “Ally McBeal” and “The King of Queens.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that she also became a blurb mouthpiece and co-produced “Country Kitchen,” a Nashville Network series.

Florence Agnes Henderson was innate Feb. 14, 1934, in a tiny city of Dale in southern Indiana. She was a 10th child of a tobacco sharecropper of Irish descent.

In class school, she assimilated a choir during a Catholic church in Rockport, Ind.

After high propagandize she changed to New York, where she enrolled in a two-year module during a American Academy of Dramatic Arts, her studies financed by a melodramatic integrate who had been tender by her singing when they saw her perform in high school.

She forsaken out of a module after one year, however, to take a purpose in “Wish You Were There.”

Henderson married museum executive Ira Bernstein and a integrate had 4 children before a kinship finished in divorce after 29 years.

Her second husband, John Kappas, died in 2002.

Pressman pronounced she is survived by her children; Barbara, Joseph, Robert and Lizzie, their particular spouses, and 5 grandchildren.


The late AP author Bob Thomas contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This element might not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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