Henderson had not been sick, her manager, Kayla Pressman, said.
“We are all in a state of shock,” said Pressman, who spoke with Henderson on Wednesday night.
The actress died at a Los Angeles hospital surrounded by family and friends.
Henderson played Carol Brady from 1969 to 1979 on “The Brady Bunch,” a show that became a huge hit in syndication.
“The Brady Bunch,” a comedy about two widows with three children each, was Henderson’s first television series.
“Florence Henderson was a dear friend for so very many years & in my <3 forever. Love & hugs to her family. I’ll miss u dearly #RIPFlorence,” tweeted Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady.
Henderson had been in the audience earlier this week when McCormick was performing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” with other dancers who had been eliminated before the finals.
Henderson’s life story wasn’t as ideal as the character she played.
She grew up poor in Indiana, with an alcoholic father and a mother who left when she was just 12 years old, she said.
Henderson used her singing talent to entertain the family and help make ends meet. “I don’t ever remember not singing. and I would sing and pass the hat. and I would sing for groceries,” she said.
Starring role in musical was big break
Her big break came in 1951 when she landed a starring role in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”
The singer-turned-actress then took her talents to television.
In 1959 she was on set as NBC’s “Today Girl” and she became the first woman to guest host the “Tonight Show” in 1962.
In 1969, Henderson became Carol Brady.
“I created the kind of mother that I wished I’d had, and I think everyone longs for,” she said.
And the fact that she was a young mother also helped her in the role, she said.
“I understood kids. I was close to them,” she told the Archive of American Television in 1999. “I was the only one on the set who was married.”
Henderson had four children with her first husband, Ira Bernstein. They were married for 29 years.
In 1987 she married John Kappas, a hypnotherapist. He died in 2002.