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‘Brady Bunch’ stars react to death of Ann B. Davis

Publicity photo of American actress, Ann B. Davis, circa 1977.
ABC/public domain Wikimedia Commons

Ann B. Davis, who played wisecracking housekeeper Alice Nelson on the iconic 1970s sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” died on Sunday following a weekend fall in her home, according to a report on June 1 by CNN. A close friend of the 88-year old TV legend said she fell and hit her head Saturday morning in her bathroom and suffered a subdural hematoma from which she never regained consciousness. Davis had reportedly been in very good health for her age, so news of her sudden death was a shock to her friend and fans.

Following the announcement of the sad news, “Brady Bunch” star Florence Henderson, who played matriarch Carol Brady on the ‘70s TV series, posted on Facebook: “I am so shocked and sad to learn that my dear friend and colleague, Ann B Davis, died today. I spoke with her a couple of months ago and she was doing great!”

In a statement posted by the Associated Press, Maureen McCormick, who played oldest sister Marcia Brady on “The Brady Bunch,” said that Davis "made me a better person. How blessed I am to have had her in my life. She will be forever missed."

Eve Plumb (Jan Brady) said of Davis: She was great to work with, and I have wonderful memories of our scenes together on 'The Brady Bunch.’ She was kind and generous to all of us on set."

Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady on the show, spoke to TODAY about Davis: “When she came on our set she was already a big star, having won a couple of Emmys," he said. "So I knew even as a young teenager she was someone I wanted to pay attention to." Williams also called his mentor "a wonderful, wonderful woman, a great friend" and "a big part of the family."

And original MTV VJ turned actress Martha Quinn, who played the wife of the character Bobby Brady (Mike Lookinland) in a revamped version of the series, also took to Twitter to mourn Davis’ death: “It was an honor to participate in the 1990 #BradyBunch episodes. So sad to hear of Ann B Davis' passing,” she wrote.

Before landing her famous role on “The Brady Bunch,” Davis won two Emmy Awards in the 1950s for her co-starring role as sassy secretary Schultzy on “The Bob Cummings Show.” While she stepped back from show business in the late 1970s and began living a quiet religious life in an Episcopalian community, Davis did make a few sporadic acting appearances later, including a cameo in the 1995 “The Brady Bunch” movie in which she played a truck driver. Davis also appeared in commercials for Swiffer and Shake ‘n Bake.

Ann B. Davis is the third major “Brady Bunch” star to pass away. In 1992, Robert Reed, who played patriarch Mike Brady, died at age 59. And in 2008, Allan Melvin, who played Alice’s boyfriend Sam the Butcher on the series, died of cancer at age 84.

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