Thanksgiving was slightly marred this year by the passing of television icon Florence Henderson, who played the cherished role of Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch for 10 years. Celebrities across the entertainment industry shared touching tributes to the late actress, who died unexpectedly of heart failure at 82 years old Thursday. Those who knew Henderson personally and those who didn't all expressed beautiful sentiment for "America's favorite mom" and the space she helped shape for women on television in its early days. Here are some of the most heartfelt celebrity tributes to Henderson and the legacy she left over the decades.
Although her primary claim to fame is her work on The Brady Bunch, the show was by no means where Henderson started or ended. Her career launched on Broadway, where she performed in Oklahoma! and South Pacific, and originated the title role in the musical Fanny. She also broke an incredible gender barrier by becoming the first woman to ever guest host The Tonight Show, before continuing on to her role as America's mom on The Brady Bunch. After that, she took on am eccentric variety of roles, like hosting WWE Raw and a hysterical guest appearance on Whose Line Is It Anyway. Over the six decades of her career, Henderson proved herself to be a uniquely talented actress as well as a warm and wonderful woman. These tributes show how universally loved she was both for her personality and her important career, and just how missed she will be.
McCormick played the role of Henderson's tv daughter Marcia Brady, and the two actresses stayed close for years.
Like many others, Takei referenced Henderson's loving and warm personality, which helped her maintain an enduring presence in Hollywood long after the end of her icon role as Carol Brady.
Henderson had a role in one of Yankovic's most famous music video, "Amish Paradise," which was emblematic of the actress's lighthearted career.
Nash referenced the beginning of the Brady Bunch theme song in her tribute, which seems fitting for both Henderson's professional and personal legacy.
Vyette Nicole Brown
Brown said what everyone was thinking — 2016 is the worst and just won't stop.
Carrie Ann Inaba
Inaba worked with Henderson during her stint on Dancing with the Stars in 2010.
Osmond and Henderson go way back to their careers in the 70s, but stayed friends over the years.
Arquette's sister Alexis, who died earlier this year, was longtime friends with Henderson.
The remembrance of Henderson's legacy is just as important as her personality. She made a central place for women on television during her years on The Brady Bunch and inspired millions with her warmth and kindness.
Whitford briefly starred with Henderson on the short-lived tv show Trophy Wife.
Smyth, an Australian broadcast journalist, perhaps put it most elegantly. Henderson stayed active and involved in the industry right up until her death, and nothing seems more fitting than the idea of her continuing her passion even after her death.
Henderson is an inspiration to anyone working in television today, and should continue to be for years to come. Take a quick break from your Gilmore Girls marathon today and turn on a few episodes of The Brady Bunch in remembrance of the talented and groundbreaking actress.