Florence Henderson passed away on Thursday at the age 82 from heart failure. News of her death quickly spread through the post-Thanksgiving airwaves. Henderson, of course, was best known as America’s TV mom, Carol Brady, on the The Brady Bunch. The show ran for five seasons in the late 1960s and early ’70s, but the pop culture juggernaut lived in infamy through TV Land reruns, plus assorted spinoffs and a 1995 big-screen spoof where Henderson played Grandma Brady.
As the matriarch of this beloved television institution, Henderson realized that the show was much more than entertainment to the at-home audience. In 1999, she told the Associated Press how The Brady Bunch “represents what people always wanted: a loving family. It’s such a gentle, innocent, sweet show, and I guess it proved there’s always an audience for that.” Henderson was certainly much more than a co-star to her fellow cast members, who helped bring the blended family’s antics to life.