(ABC NEWS) – Actress Florence Henderson — the iconic matriarch of the TV series “The Brady Bunch” — has died, her manager Kayla Pressman has confirmed. She was 82.
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear mother Florence Henderson from Heart Failure,” the Henderson family said in a statement. “On this day of thanks, our beloved mother was surrounded by her devoted children and dearest friends. We thank all of her fans for their many years of love and ask that we be allowed to grieve in private.
“Florence is survived by her adored children Barbara, Joseph,Robert Lizzie and their respective spouses as well as her five grandchildren.”
Kayla Pressman, Henderson’s talent manager, added, “Florence was the most vibrant and caring woman I have ever known. She never had an unkind word about anyone. She was a wonderful mother and was so proud of her 4 children and 5 grandchildren.”
Maureen McCormick, who played Henderson’s on-screen daughter Marcia Brady, tweeted, “Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years & in my [heart] forever. Love & hugs to her family. I’ll miss u dearly #RIPFlorence.”
“The Brady Bunch” aired from 1969 to 1974 on ABC, but it returned in the form of various specials, including “The Brady Bunch Hour” in 1977, “The Brady Brides” in 1981 and “The Bradys” in 1990.
Born in Dale, Indiana, Henderson kicked off her show business career with roles on Broadway. Also early on in her carreer she starred in the national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!.”
One of her earliest TV credits was when she appeared on “The Tonight Show” as its first female guest host.
But it wasn’t until 1969 when she landed the role of Carol Brady that she became a household name.
Henderson is survived by her four children — Barbara, Lizzie, Joseph, and Robert — with her first husband Ira Bernstein, to whom she was married from 1955 to 1985. She married hypnotherapist John Kappas in 1987 after seeking treatment for depression, and inspired by him, she became a licensed hypnotherapist. He died in 2002.ABC News’ Matthew Fuhrman contributed to this report.