A true TV icon and surrogate mother to multiple generations, actress Florence Henderson passed away this past Thursday. And she is already deeply missed. Her TV brood has gathered on various forms of social media, with all but one sharing their kind thoughts and memories of the The Brady Bunch mom. Henderson died at the age of 82, living a full life that was filled with memorable TV and movie roles. But perhaps none resonated more than that of Carol Brady. And she certainly made an impact on the young cast she worked with for 5 seasons.
Maureen McCormick, who played oldest daughter Marcia Brady, seemed to remain closest to Florence throughout the years. She was one of the first to respond to the sudden and unexpected death. She had this to say about her beloved second mother.
"You are in my heart forever Florence. 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."
Barry Williams, who played oldest son Greg Brady, and even boasted about 'dating' Florence Henderson at one point, was also distraught over the loss. He took his feeling to Twitter, heartbroken to hear the news, which came shortly after he got engaged to his longtime girlfriend. He says this.
"Deeply saddened. Florence was one of the most gracious people I have ever known, Proud to call her Mom and life long friend. #RIPFlorence"
Florence Henderson played Carol Brady for five seasons, as The Brady Bunch ran from 1969 to 1974. There were four other children under her wing on the Paramount set. Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady, was the youngest of the six. She sends out her condolences to the surviving members of Henderson's immediate family, even remembering how Florence once helped save her life. She goes onto say this to
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"My heart right now is going to her four children. I always felt we stole the limelight from them. They had to share her so much. My first husband and I spent time with her sons, and he told me, 'Her kids are terrific,' That's how you know how good a mom she was. Two families and a career, and her kids still turned out terrific."
Susan Olsen goes onto talk about her friendship with Florence's own real-life daughter Lizzy, which allowed the young actress to see her TV mom away from the set, being a real parent. She also recalls a moment that happened on the set of the now infamous 3-part Hawaii episode. During the shoot, Florence saved her youngest TV daughter from a potentially fatal Ocean fall.
The crew outrigger bumped the young Olsen over the side of the boat, and she was clinging for life and death to the side of it, horrified. Susan wasn't much of a swimmer at this point in life. Henderson hooked her own ankles under a nearby seat and scooped Olsen out of the water, then continued to comfort her as the girl sat shaking.
Florence Henderson's death also came as a shock to youngest Brady Boy Mike Lookinland, who played Bobby. He was awoken by the news, and went into shock. The actor doesn't have much of a presence on social media, but he did have this to say to the Daily Mail,
"I woke up today to the sad news. I just got to my mother's cabin in the woods in southern Utah, and I'm still shocked and amazed. She was the kind of person that is just great to be around. Just to be in the same room with her was a pleasure. You can't say that about most people. She was just 100% fun and professional."
Florence Henderson died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering heart failure, and her death was unexpected. Middle Brady child Peter, aka Christopher Knight, has not been able to be reached over the holiday weekend. Other middle child Jane, aka Eve Plumb, did, whoever, post a very heartfelt letter on WhoSay and Twitter that is shared below.
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
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