Florence Henderson, the kind-faced matriarch of The Brady Bunch television series, has died at the age of 82.
According to ABC, Henderson’s manager, Kayla Pressman, confirmed the sad news.
“Florence was the most vibrant and caring woman I have ever known,” said Pressman. “She never had an unkind word about anyone. She was a wonderful mother and was so proud of her four children and five grandchildren.”
Henderson’s family also released a statement regarding her passing. Via ABC:
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear mother Florence Henderson from heart failure...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.”
Born in Dale, Indiana, Henderson’s acting career began on the stage. She performed on Broadway and starred in a national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. She later appeared on The Tonight Show as a guest host, but it was The Brady Bunch, running from 1969 until 1974, that catapulted Henderson to fame. The show returned in various iterations: The Brady Bunch Hour in 1977, The Brady Brides in 1981, and The Bradys in 1990.
Henderson, survived by her four children, their spouses, and her five grandchildren, will be dearly missed by all who knew her. Maureen McCormick, who played Henderson’s daughter, Marcia Brady, has already paid homage on Twitter.
Others are also publicly mourning this woman who warmed so many with her vivacious talent and maternal sweetness.
Forget T.S. Eliot’s cruelest month — 2016 has undoubtedly been the cruelest year.