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, the AP reports.
Henderson studied at New York City's American Academy of Dramatic Arts after graduating from the St. Frances school in Indiana in 1951, People reports. Her pre-Brady career included numerous starring roles on Broadway and appearances in movies and TV shows including the Tonight Show, which she became the first woman to host, in 1962. After the Brady Bunch ended, Henderson appeared on shows including the Love Boat; Murder, She Wrote; Ally McBeal; and 30 Rock, the CBC reports. She also appeared on reality shows including Dancing With the Stars in recent years as well as hosting Retirement TV's Florence Henderson Show. She is survived by four children from the first of her two marriages. (Last year, she revealed that she still liked to date younger men,)