Actress Florence Henderson, who played one of the most iconic and loved characters on television, died in Los Angeles late Thursday night at age 82. Henderson was best known for her role as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch show, which aired from 1969 to 1974. Although she was hospitalized, her death was unexpected and quickly sent shock waves through social media.
Henderson, one of 10 children, grew up in Indiana, where she lived a hardscrabble life with an alcoholic father after her mother abandoned the family. She began singing for money at a young age to help out financially and landed her first major role on Broadway in the musical “Oklahoma” in 1951. By the early 1960s, Henderson was working in television on the “Today” and “Tonight” shows, which led to her eventually being cast as Carol Brady in 1969. After The Brady Bunch ended, Henderson continued with cameo appearances on various sitcoms and series, including a 2010 stint on “WWE Raw.”
Henderson was married twice. She had four children with her first husband, Ira Bernstein, to whom she was wed for 29 years. She married hypnotherapist John Kappas in 1987. He died in 2002.
Many celebrities took to Twitter on Thanksgiving night to express their condolences. Al Yankovic expressed sadness and said it was an honor to have worked with her. Actor Michael McKean said Henderson was a very funny person. “Dancing with the Stars” Tom Bergeron simply said that he would miss Henderson. Brady Bunch co-star Maureen McCormick said Henderson would remain in her heart for all time.
Funeral services are pending.