'Brady Bunch' actress Florence Henderson dies aged 82

Reports say she died Thursday after suffering heart failure

'Brady Bunch' actress Florence Henderson dies aged 82

Florence Henderson attending the 30th Anniversary of the Black and White Ball at Aria Casino in las Vegas, Nevada in 2014 | Image: AJM EMPICS Entertainment

US actress Florence Henderson, best known for playing Carol Brady on 'The Brady Bunch' TV show, has died aged 82.

Reports say she died Thursday night in Los Angeles, after being hospitalised the day before.

Henderson had suffered heart failure, her manager Kayla Pressman said in a statement.

Family and friends had surrounded her hospital bedside, Pressman added.

The multi-talented actress, talk show host, recording artist, author, Broadway veteran, and philanthropist was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute's first permanent Entertainment History Exhibit as one of the greatest pop cultural icons of all time in November 2008.

She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In July 2012, Henderson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Teaching of Singers.

Her acting career began at age 17, when she entered New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts with financial assistance from a schoolmate's parents.

By the age of 18 she was making her Broadway debut, and then landed a part in Joshua Logan’s musical, 'Wish You Were Here.'

From there she took the lead in a national US tour of 'Oklahoma!' - but she will always be best known worldwide as 'America’s Favourite Mom' and matriarch Carol Brady.

The show originally aired from 1969 to 1974.

She reprised that role in 1995 when a new cast was assembled for 'The Brady Bunch Movie' - this time portraying Grandma Brady.

No stranger to television, she was also the first woman to host 'The Tonight Show.

She is survived by her children; Barbara, Joseph, Robert and Lizzie - and five grandchildren.