Speed Reads

Farewell

Florence Henderson, mom on The Brady Bunch, dies at age 82

Actress Florence Henderson, known for her role as mom Carol Brady on TV sitcom The Brady Bunch, died Thursday night. She was 82, and reportedly suffered heart failure.

After The Brady Bunch ended in 1974, Henderson went on to guest star in shows like Ally McBeal and 30 Rock, and reprised her role as mother of the big, blended family in various spinoffs, including The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. "It represents what people always wanted: a loving family," Henderson said in 1999 about The Brady Bunch. "It's such a gentle, innocent, sweet show, and I guess it proved there's always an audience for that."

Henderson got her start as a singer, debuting on Broadway in 1952 at age 18. In 1962, she became the first woman to guest host The Tonight Show. She was hosting a cooking show on Retirement Living TV at the time of her death.

"Florence was not only America's favorite TV mom, but television royalty," The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said in a statement. Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, tweeted a farewell to her "dear friend for so very many years." Becca Stanek