Brady Bunch actor Ann B. Davis dies at 88

Award-winning actor Ann B. Davis, most famous for her role as the ever-optimistic Alice Nelson of the TV series The Brady Bunch, died in a hospital in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday.

The 88-year-old suffered a fall at her home on May 31. Medical examiner’s investigator Sara Horne reportedly said no cause of death was available and that an autopsy was planned for Monday (June 2).

The Brady Bunch premiered in 1969 and aired for five years. However, while the show itself was short-lived, it developed a loyal following and lived on in reruns and spin-offs. The show tells the story of two families merged into one, and is considered to be one of the last old-style family sitcoms.

Davis’s character was the Brady family’s housekeeper. Cheerful and helpful, she was best known for telling jokes, leading to the oft-repeated phrase, “Oh, Alice!” She was also known for the sky-blue and white maid’s uniform she always wore. 

Before playing Alice on The Brady Bunch, Davis was a supporting character on The Bob Cummings Show, playing Shultzy, Cummings’s character’s assistant. While this role was less well-known, it was more critically acclaimed, earning Davis two Emmy awards in 1958 and 1959. 

After The Brady Bunch, Davis continued to appear in sequels and reruns, but her life was a largely quiet and religious one. She stated that she was born again, and that it had changed her life for the better. Davis returned to acting in 1993, starring in a worldwide tour of the production Crazy for You, a romantic musical with lyrics and music by George and Ira Gershwin.

Davis never married, stating that she never found someone who was as interesting as her career. She was also never romantically linked to anyone.

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