That evil dead-souled monster 2016 just had to come along and repeatedly knee us all in the heart by taking away one of America’s favorite moms, Carol Brady, on Thanksgiving of all days. Every piece of leftover pie is going to taste like lukewarm shit today. Pour out all of the Wesson oil, because Florence Henderson died yesterday. She was 82.
Earlier this week, Florence was at Dancing with the Stars to see her TV daughter, Marcia Brady (aka Maureen McCormick), dance. The Associated Press says that on Wednesday, Florence was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. And last night, she went off to heaven to be reunited with Mike and Alice while surrounded by her family and friends. Florence’s manager says that she died of heart failure.
Florence’s career started out in musicals. Shortly after moving to NYC to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she made her Broadway debut in the musical Wish You Were Here. Florence was in the City Center revival of Oklahoma! before she was cast as the title role in Fanny on Broadway. Florence danced and yodeled as Fanny for 2 years from 1954 to 1956.
In 1962, Florence became the first woman to ever guest host The Tonight Show, and she was also The Today Girl on the Today show for a minute. Long before Al Roker covered our eyes with his “wackiness,” The Today Girl used to do the weather and also a little bit of light news.
And in the late-60s, Florence got the role that made her an icon and STAH! For all five seasons of the slice of sap-covered TV cheese known as The Brady Bunch, Florence was Carol Brady and she embraced it. She was also in The Brady Bunch Hour, The Brady Brides, A Very Brady Christmas, The Bradys and she played the memaw in The Brady Bunch Movie.
Beyond lighting up eyes with that glorious Carol Brady mullet that was cut by the angels, Florence also guest starred in many, many TV shows and was in movies like Shakes the Clown. And us children of the 80s and 90s will never forget Florence Henderson’s legendary Wesson commercials!
And in the 2000s, Florence shook her shit in Dancing with the Stars and was also in the sixth season of the flawless reality show jewel The Surreal Life.
Florence had 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Two of her TV children tweeted nice words about their TV mom:
Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years & in my <3 forever. Love & hugs to her family. I'll miss u dearly #RIPFlorence
— Maureen McCormick (@MoMcCormick7) November 25, 2016
Deeply saddened. Florence was one of the most gracious people I have ever known, Proud to call her Mom and life long friend. #RIPFlorence
— Barry Williams (@MrBarryWilliams) November 25, 2016
Rest in peace, Florence.