The Brady Bunch actress, who played beloved mom Carol Brady on the series, suffered from heart disease for the last 10 years and was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat five years ago.
Her death came as a surprise to many fans, who had just seen her looking healthy in the audience of night one of the Dancing With the Stars season 23 finale on November 21. Henderson was a contestant on the ABC dancing competition back in 2010, and was supporting her TV daughter Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady on the ’70s TV series), who competed on the most recent season of DWTS.
“She looked great,” an onlooker tells Us Weekly. “She was with a female friend or relative and was in the front row to the left of the judges. … [She] enjoyed the show so much. Even the audience warm-up guy pointed her out as ‘America’s favorite mom,’ and everyone cheered for her.”
During her long Hollywood career, Henderson was the first woman to guest-host The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, contributed to the Today show and cohosted her own talk show, The Florence Henderson Show, which ran from 2007 to 2009.
The Love Boat actress was married twice and is survived by her four children, Barbara, Elizabeth, Joseph and Robert, and five grandchildren.