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'Brady Bunch' mom Florence Henderson dies aged 82

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Actress Florence Henderson poses at the Television Academy's Performers Peer Group cocktail reception to celebrate the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills, California July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo
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People look at the star of actress Florence Henderson, best known for her role as Carol Brady on the TV sitcom 'The Brady Bunch' and who passed away at age 82, on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 25, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
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People look at the star of actress Florence Henderson, best known for her role as Carol Brady on the TV sitcom 'The Brady Bunch' and who passed away at age 82, on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 25, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
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Actress Florence Henderson poses backstage after the premiere of ABC's series 'Dancing with the Stars Season 11' in Los Angeles September 20, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo
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Actress Florence Henderson, star of the 1970's television comedy series 'The Brady Bunch', arrives for '60 Years A Retrospective of the Television and The Television Academy' at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles October 12, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo
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Actress Florence Henderson poses at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 22nd annual Hall of Fame gala in Beverly Hills, California March 11, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo
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May 24, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Television actress Florence Henderson leaves the drivers meeting held the day before the 2014 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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Actress Florence Henderson arrives at the taping of the 5th annual TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, California April 14, 2007. REUTERS/Max Morse
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Actress Florence Henderson arrives as a guest at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Performers Peer Group cocktail reception for 64th Primetime Emmy Award nominees in Los Angeles August 20, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser
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Veteran actress Florence Henderson, best known to a generation of baby boomers as all-American mother Carol Brady in the 1970s sitcom "The Brady Bunch," has died aged 82.

Maureen McCormick, who played Henderson's oldest daughter, Marcia, in the show and in many sequels, said on Twitter: "Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years & in my (heart) forever ... I'll miss u dearly."

McCormick was a contestant in the dance competition "Dancing With the Stars" this season and Henderson attended a taping of the show just days ago.

Henderson died with family and friends at her side, the Associated Press reported, citing her manager Kayla Pressman. The cause of death was not detailed.

Henderson starred in the ground-breaking television series about a woman with three daughters who married a widower with three sons.

She first graced television screens in the 1950s following a role in the musical "Carousel" in 1949 and other musical theater hits including "South Pacific" and the title role in "Fanny."

But it was the 1969 premier of "The "Brady Bunch," among the first U.S. television shows to focus on a non-traditional family, that made her a household name.

On the show, Robert Reed's character, architect Mike Brady, was a widowed father of three boys. Henderson's character Carol Brady was a single mother - the show was vague as to why - who had three daughters. They married in the first episode.

The series made its debut amid cultural tumult in the United States but remained invariably cheery and avoided controversy during its five seasons on the ABC network. It ran during a TV era populated with caustic sitcoms such as "All in the Family," "Maude" and "Sanford and Son."

After the cancellation of the original series in 1974, Henderson appeared on later incarnations of the show, including "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour," "The Brady Brides," "A Very Brady Christmas" and "The Bradys."

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

Henderson also appeared frequently on a host of game and talk shows, including serving as the "Tonight Show"'s first female guest host. She competed on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2010.

Her film appearances included "Song of Norway," "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult" and most recently, "Fifty Shades of Black." She also had a cameo on "The Brady Bunch Movie," a send-up of the original sitcom which continues to play in syndicated reruns.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Paul Tait)

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