Florence Henderson, best known for her role as Brady Bunch matriarch Carol, delighted audiences for years with her reassuring smile and wonderful timing. Sadly, she passed away yesterday from heart failure at the age of 82, surrounded by friends and family.

Shortly after her passing, her surviving family members issued a statement to ABC News. You can read it below...

We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear mother Florence Henderson from Heart Failure. On this day of thanks, our beloved mother was surrounded by her devoted children and dearest friends. We thank all of her fans for their many years of love and ask that we be allowed to grieve in private. Florence is survived by her adored children Barbara, Joseph,Robert Lizzie and their respective spouses as well as her five grandchildren.

Because of how incredibly famous she became through her role as Carol Brady, many forget Florence Henderson was actually popular prior to landing the part on the iconic sitcom. In fact, by the early 1960s, she was working on The Today Show, and she was even the first woman to ever guest host The Tonight Show. Between those career movements and her rising stature as a theater performer, she could have gone in many different directions, but in 1969, she landed her role on The Brady Bunch that defined her legacy.

The Brady Bunch was never a huge hit during its initial run. It never finished a season in the Top 30, and it was cancelled after just five seasons. Thanks to syndication and a group of characters that were extremely memorable, however, the show never really left the public consciousness. It has never stopped airing in syndication, and several spinoffs, commercials and specials were produced, as well as plenty of talk about reboots.

Beyond that, Florence Henderson transitioned into a post-Brady career in which she made appearances and served as the spokesman for products. Most famously, she appeared in commercials for Wesson Oil from 1976 to 1996. She also appeared on Dancing With The Stars, regularly performed at the Indianapolis 500 and even had her own cooking show. It fair to say Americans fell in love with Henderson in the 1960s, and they never fell out of love with her.

CinemaBlend's sincerest thoughts go out to the entire Henderson Family, as well as all of those who were touched by her life. By all accounts, she was a sweet woman with a delightful personality. In a way, everyone who grew up on The Brady Bunch lost their mother on Thanksgiving, and that's about as nice of a compliment as you could ever given a person.

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