Florence Henderson dies at 82

Laura Steele and Florence Henderson

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Florence Henderson, the wholesome actress who went from Broadway star to television icon when she became Carol Brady, the ever-cheerful mom residing over “The Brady Bunch,” has died. She was 82.

She died surrounded by family and friends, her manager, Kayla Pressman, said in a statement late Thursday.

Millions loved, and kept on loving, the innocent sitcom about a blended family. “The Brady Bunch,” first aired in 1969, returned to television in various forms again and again, including “The Brady Bunch Hour” in 1977, “The Brady Brides” in 1981 and “The Bradys” in 1990. It was also seen endlessly in reruns.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway released this statement:

Florence Henderson had an amazing impact on generations of Americans through her platform as an actress and an even more profound impact on Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans through her passion for and contribution to those special moments leading up the command to start engines at the Indianapolis 500. Our fans looked forward to seeing her on Race Day each year and her pre-race involvement became one of the expected annual traditions that makes the Indianapolis 500 so powerful. This past year, we were pleased to have honored her as the Grand Marshall for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. More importantly, Florence Henderson was a treasured friend of the Hulman-George family for many years and the bond between them was as strong as family. We thank her for her friendship and love for our sport and her friends and family will be in our prayers. She was a lovely lady and she will be missed.”