‘Brady Bunch’ Star Florence Henderson Dies At 82

by Valerie Williams
Image via Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

“The Brady Bunch” mom Florence Henderson has died

We woke this morning to the sad news that America’s lost one of its favorite moms. Florence Henderson, aka Carol Brady, has passed away at age 82 from heart failure.

It’s official: 2016 can jump straight into the sea.

This year, we’ve lost a lot. The last 11 months have taken Prince, Muhammed Ali, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Natalie Cole, Gwen Ifill and now, Florence Henderson. It’s only fitting that the dumpster fire that is 2016 rages on, but really? Carol Brady? This is just the worst.

According to NBC News, Henderson was surrounded by friends and family when she died last night. Her career started off on Broadway and spanned decades, but her most notable role was as Carol Brady, matriarch of the blended Brady family, the first of its kind to appear on a sitcom. Previously single parents Mike and Carol came together and made one big, happy family out of their combined six kids. “The Brady Bunch” ran from 1969-1974, but never really left as it spawned several specials and has been in syndication ever since.

The show was a pop culture phenomenon and its significance wasn’t lost on Henderson who in 1999 said, “It 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.”

There absolutely is. I and many others my age grew up watching reruns of the show, and even though the episodes originally aired well before we were born, the show still meant so much to us. It was a constant and a comfort for multiple generations.

Her death has prompted on outpouring of grief on Twitter from the celebrities who knew and loved her, most notably, her TV daughter Marcia, played by Maureen McCormick.

McCormick’s tweet alone has hundreds of responses from people shocked and upset that she’s gone. Calling her “mom” and saying how much they love her, the affection for Henderson from all of America is clear. She will be mourned by everyone, because she felt like a mom to so many of us.

RIP, Mrs. Brady. You will be missed.