A look back at the life of Florence Henderson, 'America's mom'

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Florence Henderson had a six-decade career on stage, in film and on TV, but to most people, she will always be known as Carol Brady.

Henderson sure made her mark on television with "The Brady Bunch."

In a career spanning more than six decades, she welcomed all the love it brought her - as she said in a 2009 interview with ABC7's entertainment guru, George Pennacchio.

"...I receive so much affection for that little show. You know, everybody wants a hug. That's the question I'm asked the most - 'Can I have a hug?' Well, yeah!" she said.

Henderson's career began long before "The Brady Bunch" and lasted long after.

"I got my first job in television in 1952, singing off-camera on "The Ed Sullivan Show." That was my very first job and then shortly after that, I was on camera and I've never looked back," she went on to say in her interview.

When Henderson was 18, Rodgers and Hammerstein picked her to play the lead in a national tour of the show.

"The Brady Bunch" returned in various incarnations over the years, including a variety show, which allowed Henderson to do more singing.

In 2010, Henderson joined the cast of a show she loved: "Dancing with the Stars."

In September, she was on the dancing stage again, in a number featuring her "Brady Bunch" daughter, Maureen McCormick, and just this past Monday night, she was in the audience.

Suddenly on Wednesday, Henderson was hospitalized and died of heart failure Thursday night. She was surrounded by loved ones.

Henderson had a lot of love in her heart, and we saw love for her left at the famous "Brady" house and on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Her on-screen "Brady" son, actor Barry Williams, spoke of her bright spirit that will continue on.

"She had a great sense of humor, she would keep things light," he said. "She was serious about what she did but didn't take herself seriously. She had a certain glamorousness about her. Very driven, she liked to work. True to form. She was working right up to the day she passed."

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