The famous TV mom has died on Thanksgiving. Henderson had been seen just last month at a taping of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars in support of Maureen McCormick, her on-screen daughter in The Brady Bunch. She famously played the mother of six children on the sitcom opposite the late Robert Reed who played the father.
Reed was gay and early in the show’s run, Henderson put her foot down with a director who tried to mistreat the actor because of his sexuality. None of the fictional Brady kids gave an indication that they might be gay during the show’s original run from 1969-74 or its subsequent incarnations as The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, the sitcom The Brady Brides and the drama The Bradys.
The star spoke in support of the positive image of LGBT characters on TV: I think so many young people have such a difficult time,’ she said. ‘Most of the gay people I know – and I have so many gay and lesbian friends – so many tell me they were disowned and how tough it was for them growing up. And all of them, they all knew they were gay from the time they were 5 or 6 years old. The kids that have no place to go and the parents don’t get it, don’t understand and stop loving them. How can you do that to a child?’