The entertainment world is a little less brighter today following the news on Thanksgiving evening that America’s mom Florence Henderson, best known and beloved for her role as Carol Brady on the 70′s sitcom, The Brady Bunch, had passed away at age 82.
Henderson died of heart failure at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles surrounded by her children and loved ones. Her manager, Kayla Pressman said that her death was unexpected. Henderson had not been sick and earlier this week, she attended a taping of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars to cheer on Maureen McCormick, who played her TV daughter Marcia Brady.
For decades and revivals of The Brady Bunch, she was the mom we all wished we had, and even Florence herself had noted on a TV interview: “I created the kind of mother that I wished I’d had, and I think everyone longs for.” Florence’s enduring career started with her first big break in 1951 when she was offered a starring role in the musical Oklahoma! Her voice carried her to a successful Broadway career, and eventually she began landing high-profile television gigs. In 1959 she was on set as the first NBC “Today Girl”, and in 1962, she became the first woman to guest host the Tonight Show.
Over the last 24 hours, the soap opera world has been shocked and saddened with the news of Henderson’s passing. Here are a just a sampling of some of the stars and more who took to social media to share their grief.
Y&R’s Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) and husband Ed Scott (B&B producer) : “We will miss our good friend FlorenceHenderson. So charming and gracious and funny. RIP Flo. Xo”
DAYS Bill Hayes (Doug): “Deeply saddened to learn that my sweet friend Florence Henderson passed away. Yes, Florence Henderson and I worked together a lot, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962. We had a terrific act. You’d have loved it! For three years, Florence and I did all the commercials for Oldsmobile. They were musical and FUN!!!”
B&B’s Sean Kanan (Deacon): “Florence Henderson helped raise my generation. When I finally met her she was such a warm person. She will be so missed.”
OLTL’s Robin Strasser (Ex-Dorian): “Florence Henderson Was at ‘DWTS’ Days Before She Died …A true hottie-She didn’t “sit it out” Brava RIP”
NATAS (Daytime Emmys): “NATAS would like to extend our condolences to the family of Florence Henderson. We have lost one of the truly great entertainers. From Broadway to films and Daytime to Primetime, Florence was not only America’s Favorite TV Mom, but television royalty as the first Today Show Girl on NBC to her own Daytime talk show and, of course, the iconic role of Mrs. Brady on The Brady Bunch as well as being one of the first women to have her career recognized by The Smithsonian in DC as a ‘Legendary Lady of Stage and Screen.’ Florence will miss you tremendously!”
Susan Olsen (Guest starred on Y&R and played Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch): “Of course we are all devastated by the loss of our TV Mom, but four magnificent human beings are proof that Florence was a wonderful mother in real life. It is for them that my heart is aching.”
Knots Landing’s Donna Mills (Ex-Abby): “Today we lost one of my most favorite people and closest friends. You were such a fiery light in my life and you will be so greatly missed. Forever in our hearts rest peacefully dear Flo.”
On-Air On-Soaps heart goes out to all of Florence’s family, and in particular, her wonderful daughter, Barbara Chase, who all of us in daytime have had the pleasure of knowing and working with in her position at the Television Academy.
Now, share your condolences, remembrances and thoughts on the passing of Florence Henderson in the comment section below.