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Florence Henderson

  • Birthplace: Dale, Indiana
  • Birthday: February 14
Date of passing: 
November 24, 2016

Obituary

Florence Henderson was an actress and singer who was best known for playing one of television's iconic mothers — Carol Brady, of the popular 1970s' comedy The Brady Bunch. Her multifaceted career also included stage productions, feature films, cooking programs and more.

Florence Henderson was an actress and singer who was best known for playing one of television's iconic mothers — Carol Brady, of the popular 1970s' comedy The Brady Bunch. Her multifaceted career also included stage productions, feature films, cooking programs and more.

The Brady Bunch, which aired on ABC — and featured one of TV's most enduring theme songs — told the story of a widowed mother of three daughters who marries a widower with three sons. The patriarch, architect Mike Brady, was played by Robert Reed. In the years that followed, The Brady Bunch remained ubiquitous in American pop culture, inspiring television movies, reunion specials, spinoffs and two feature films.

At the time she was cast in the show, in 1969, Henderson had already achieved considerable success in the theater and television.

The Indiana native studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City before being cast in the musical comedy Wish You Were Here. She went on to score the role of Laurey in the national tour of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Oklahoma!, which led to regular stage and TV work that eventually brought her to Los Angeles.

After The Brady Bunch ended its run in 1974, Henderson remained a television fixture, with a wide range of guest roles on series that included Medical Center, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, Alice, Murder, She Wrote, Roseanne, Ellen, Ally McBeal, The King of Queens, 30 Rock and more. She also appeared in telefilms, was a frequent guest on variety shows, talk shows and game shows, and pitched products such as Wesson cooking oil in numerous commercials.

Henderson's affinity for cooking was spotlighted on Country Kitchen, the TNN show she hosted for nine years beginning in 1985. Other cooking-themed credits included Good Food, Good Deeds and Who's Cooking with Florence Henderson.

In 2007, she hosted The Florence Henderson Show, a talk show on the cable channel RLTV, and in 2010 she was a contestant on the popular reality competition series Dancing with the Stars.

Her feature films included Song of Norway, Shakes the ClownFor Heaven's SakeVenus and Vegas and The Christmas Bunny.

In 1996 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Henderson died on November 24, 2016, in Los Angeles. She was 82.

 

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