Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Florence Henderson, the actress best known for her iconic role as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, has died. She was 82. According to her manager, she died in L.A., surrounded by friends and family.
Henderson, a singer and actress, appeared in Broadway plays and musicals, but later moved to TV. In 1962, she was the first woman to guest host The Tonight Show. She also appeared on NBC’s Today show, doing weather and some news.
In 1969, she landed the role that made her a TV icon: Carol Brady, “the lovely lady” with three daughters who married Robert Reed’s Mike Brady. That’s the way they all became The Brady Bunch, which aired from 1969 until 1974.
Henderson continued to play Carol Brady in all the various Brady spin-offs and TV movies, such as The Brady Brides, A Very Brady Christmas and others. She later became popular game show panelist, TV guest star and the very visible spokesperson for Wesson cooking oil.
Henderson was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2010, and also appeared on the VH1’s The Surreal Life. She continued to make TV and movie appearances throughout her career: her most recent TV role was in an episode of the Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover. She also hosted her own talk show and cooking show on RLTV.
In 2011, she published a memoir, Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond.
On her Facebook page, Henderson says of her most famous role, “I played Carol as the mother I always wished I had; as the mother a lot of people wished they had.”
Her TV daughter, Maureen McCormick, tweeted, “Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years & in my [heart] forever. Love & hugs to her family. I”ll miss u dearly #RIPFlorence.”
“Weird Al” Yankovic tweeted, “So terribly sad to hear of the passing of the great Florence Henderson. It was a true honor to have known and worked with her.” Henderson appeared in his video for his hit “Amish Paradise.”
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