Watch CBS News

Beloved TV Mom, Florence Henderson Of 'Brady Bunch' Fame, Dies At 82

LOS ANGELES ( — Florence Henderson, the wholesome actress who went from Broadway star to television icon when she became Carol Brady, the ever-cheerful mom residing over "The Brady Bunch," has died. She was 82.

She died surrounded by family and friends, her manager, Kayla Pressman, said in a statement late Thursday.

Millions loved, and kept on loving, the innocent sitcom about a blended family. "The Brady Bunch," first aired in 1969, returned to television in various 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 endlessly in reruns.

That she died on what is the quintessential American holiday for family and friends makes her passing that much sadder. For generations of children, she was TV's best mom. For the adults who watched "The Brady Bunch," she was the dear friend.

The Indiana-born Henderson had a storied and varied TV career before she hit "Bunch" fame. She won an acting scholarship to the Academy of Dramatic Arts on the strength of her singing voice.

Maureen McCormick, who played "Brady" eldest daughter Marcia was the first to weigh in with the sad news.

After graduation, she became a "Today Show" girl (and that's what they called them back in the day) from 1959-60.

She did countless musicals and once claimed to have played Maria in "Sound of Music" more than anyone else on the planet.

Henderson's other credits included "The Love Boat" (she was a frequent guest star), "Alice," "Fantasy Island," "Murder, She Wrote," "30 Rock" and is scheduled to be seen in "Grandmothers Murder Club" due out next year.

She was also the first woman to guest host "The Tonight Show."

IMAGES: Florence Henderson Through The Years

For decades, she was inextricably linked with Wesson oil as the star of their commercials.

She was married twice. First to producer Ira Bernstein. They married in 1956 and divorced in 1985. The couple had four children.

Henderson married Dr. John Kappas in 1987 and remained married to him until his death in 2002.

No surprise, but Henderson was well-liked among many Hollywood stars who worked with her or grew up watching her

Tributes poured in on social media.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.