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Florence Henderson Dies at Age 82

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Florence Henderson

Credit:  Alan Light, cropped, flickr.com, CC BY 2.0

by Chris Koseluk, The Hollywood Reporter

Florence Henderson, the effervescent stage and screen performer whose sweet, starring turn on The Brady Bunch made her one of the most popular sitcom moms in television history, has died. She was 82.

Henderson, who in the 1950s originated the title role of Fanny in the Broadway musical and then served as a “Today Girl” on the popular NBC morning program, died on Thanksgiving night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a day after she was hospitalized, her publicist, David Brokaw, told the Associated Press.

Henderson had suffered heart failure, her manager Kayla Pressman said in a statement. Family and friends surrounded Henderson’s hospital bedside, Pressman said.

The Indiana native also made history as The Tonight Show’s first female guest host when she sat in for Johnny Carson in 1962, was a mainstay on variety and game shows and spent more than two decades singing about “Wessonality” as a pitchwoman for a vegetable cooking-oil product.

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© 2016 The Hollywood Reporter

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