Florence Henderson, who starred in TV's 'The Brady Bunch,' dies at 82

Florence Henderson, who starred in TV's 'The Brady Bunch,' dies at 82

Her death was unexpected.

Henderson, one of 10 children from a small IN town, went on to guest star on hit TV shows including "Murder, She Wrote", "The Love Boat" and "L.A. Law".

Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady, described her as "a dear friend". She died Thursday of heart failure in Los Angeles at age 82, with family and friends at her side.

After "The Brady Bunch" was canceled in 1974, Henderson appeared in a series of spinoffs and TV movies, including "The Brady Brides", "A Very Brady Christmas", "The Bradys" and "The Brady Bunch Hour". Her acting was praised and loved by all.

When Carol Brady told her beloved children the way the world worked - the way men and women should treat each other, the way young women should appreciate and celebrate their bodies, the way our choices and actions have consequences - it wasn't just the show's writing that drove it home.

Her former castmates expressed their shock and grief at her passing.

Maureen McCormick is paying tribute to her TV mom and lifelong friend, Florence Henderson. She will be best remembered for her TV family that was both modern and traditional, reports CBS News correspondent Dana Jacobson. Yes, but the reason that I asked her to go out was to talk about music and performing'.

FLORENCE HENDERSON: (As Carol Brady) All right, Greg, if you say so. She also said the show was hard work and the cast embraced it. Her glass was always half full. She was an inspiration with how to conduct yourself in public as a famous person. She was so kind and would always take time. I spent so much time with her on weekends at her house with her family.

He distinctly remembered one touching moment - when she came to his side while he auditioned for the role of "Pippin" at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.

Florence is survived by her children Barbara, Lizzie, Joseph, Robert, and their spouses, as well as five grandchildren. "I got my first job in television in 1952, singing off-camera on "The Ed Sullivan Show".

Henderson never left her Brady roots behind, often reappearing for Brady Bunch reunions. She segued from the chorus to the lead role in the final national touring company of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!". Her voice carried her to a successful Broadway career, and eventually she began landing high-profile television gigs.

In later years she also made guest appearances on such shows as "Roseanne, "Ally McBeal" and "The King of Queens". Debra Messing of "Will & Grace" fame also mourned the actress, saying the Brady Bunch was "everything". She could bring all six of us together and get us straight. "I was the only one on the set who was married".

Henderson had four children with Bernstein. The couple was married for 29 years until they were divorced.

Her second husband, John Kappas, died in 2002.

The "Brady Bunch" offered America - and pop culture - its first blended TV family.

As the decades passed, she continued to be a presence through cameos and guest appearances. After "The Brady Bunch" ended, Lookinland battled alcoholism and found a fulfilling role on the other side of the camera.

In 2010 she appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" with a professional ballroom dancer, Corky Ballas, as her partner.