'Faithful' Christian Actress Ann B. Davis - ‘Alice’ from 'The Brady Bunch’ - Dies at 88

( [email protected] ) Jun 02, 2014 07:45 PM EDT

Ann B. Davis, known as housekeeper Alice Nelson in the popular television show "The Brady Bunch" and secretary Schultzy on "The Bob Cummings Show" died Sunday at the age of 88. Davis passed away unexpectedly after a fall in a hospital in San Antonio, Texas where she lived with a minister friend and his wife.

Ann B. Davis

According to the internet database IMDb, Davis was born in Schenectady, New York and played various characters in in little theaters, stock companies, touring musicals, and Hollywood. She won 2 Emmy awards for her role as Schultzy on "The Bob Cummings Show." While living in Los Angeles, Davis attended All Saints' Church. At the church, she was placed in a bible study, opening her eyes and sparking a curiosity that never left her. Davis transitioned out of show business in the late 1970's to settle down in an Episcopalian community.

In a 1977 interview with People, Davis explains her transition out of show business and into an Episcopalian religious commune in this way: "I was tired of show business - tired of running around with my head cut off." Davis grew up an Episcopalian, practicing her faith "with little understanding of it." In 1974, she met Episcopalian Bishop William C. Frey and "yielded control to the Lord," by selling her home and moving in with Frey and several others.

In another interview with People, Davis vocalized her spirituality this way: "My mother would write letters when I was away at camp and say, 'There's an Ann-shaped space around the house. Nobody fills an Ann-shaped space except an Ann.' I'm convinced we all have a God-shaped space in us, and until we fill that space with God, we'll never know what it is to be whole."

In 1993, Davis told the Associated Press "I was born again. It happens to Episcopalians. Sometimes it doesn't hit you till you're 47 years old." Davis also told the Associated Press "It (Christianity) changed my whole life for the better...I spent a lot of time giving Christian witness all over the country to church groups and stuff."

Eric Metaxas responded to Davis' death today on Twitter: "I had the privilege of knowing Ann B. Davis, who died this morning at 88. A great actress & woman devoted to Jesus." Close personal friend Bishop Frey said that Ann was very similar to the Alice the American people know and love. "What you see on 'The Brady Bunch' was who she was," he said. "She was a very faithful Christian person." In an interview with the Episcopal News Service today, Bishop Frey said, "She would spend a couple of days studying a week for her Bible study at St. Helena's Church in Boerne, north of San Antonio. She went there twice a week, Sundays and to a midweek Eucharist. She sang in the choir."

Several fellow Brady Bunch cast members also responded to Davis' death today. Florence Henderson, responded to Davis' death by tweeting: "I am so shocked and sad to learn that my dear friend and colleague, Ann B Davis, died today." Barry Williams who played Greg told "Good Morning America:" Ann was the "glue that held 'The Brady Bunch' together."