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Remembering Florence Henderson with a look back at TV's most iconic moms

Florence Henderson, who died at 82 on Thursday night, was an iconic part of a long line of TV moms that includes these famous characters.
/ Source: TODAY

When Florence Henderson died at 82 on Thursday night, America lost one of its iconic television moms.

For kids growing up in the 1970s and all the way into the '90s thanks to "The Brady Bunch" being in syndication, Henderson's Carol Brady was "America's mom," the ultimate wholesome mother who might get annoyed by her unruly children but always stayed upbeat and showered them with love.

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Whether it was Marcia getting bopped on the nose by a football right before the big school dance or Jan getting tired of Marcia receiving all the attention, Carol always had a solution that left everybody happy.

RELATED: Florence Henderson remembered by friends, fans: 'You are in my heart forever'

"I played Carol as the mother I always wished I had, as the mother a lot of people wished they had,'' Henderson once wrote on her Facebook page.

Florence Henderson (above, center) played Carol Brady as a calming, loving presence with a sense of humor to become one of the iconic TV moms thanks to "The Brady Bunch."
Florence Henderson (above, center) played Carol Brady as a calming, loving presence with a sense of humor to become one of the iconic TV moms thanks to "The Brady Bunch."

Henderson was one of the members of a continuum of famous TV moms from June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) on "Leave it to Beaver" in the 1950s through Debra Barone (Patricia Heaton) on "Everybody Loves Raymond" in the 2000s.

Everybody Loves Raymond - 1996
Patricia Heaton's Debra Barone was a little more frazzled and modern than Carol Brady, but she loved her family just the same on "Everybody Loves Raymond," which ran from 1996-2005. Hbo/Worldwi/REX/Shutterstock

Henderson was part of a group of famous TV moms in the 1960s and '70s that also included Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery) of "Bewitched" and Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton) on "All in the Family."

Her Carol Brady character was followed in the 1980s by several other all-time TV moms, led by Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) on "The Cosby Show."

The Cosby Show
Phylicia Rashad was a quintessential TV mom as Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show." Alan Singer / NBC Universal

Another memorable television matriarch from that time was Meredith Baxter, who played the hippie mom to conservative kids played by Michael J. Fox, Justine Bateman and Tina Yothers on "Family Ties." In 2009, Baxter, who was married three times, revealed on TODAY that she is a lesbian.

Cast Of 'Family Ties'
Meredith Baxter famously played Elyse Keaton, mom to a group of kids that included breakout star Michael J. Fox, on "Family Ties," which aired from 1982-89. Getty Images

The 1990s saw Roseanne Barr play the opposite of the wholesome Carol Brady as Roseanne Conner, the rough-around-the-edges, bitingly funny mom of a blue-collar family on "Roseanne." There also was the bizarro-world version of Carol Brady, sexpot Peggy Bundy of "Married With Children," played by Katey Sagal.

ROSEANNE, Roseanne, Michael Fishman, John Goodman, Lecy Goranson, Sara Gilbert, Season 6. 1988-1997.
Roseanne Barr played Roseanne Conner on the self-titled sitcom from 1988 to 1997. (C)Carsey-Werner Co/Courtesy Everett Collection

One famous TV mom from the 1990s who has endured more than any mom in history is still going strong. Marge Simpson, voiced by Julie Kavner, is still putting up with the blundering Homer on "The Simpsons."

The show is now in its 28th season as the longest-running American sitcom and animated show.

The Simpsons
Doh! Can't forget Marge Simpson as an all-time TV mom. AP

Finally, there are some TV moms we just can't get enough of. Lauren Graham is back as Lorelai Gilmore, the single mom to Alexis Bledel's Rory on "Gilmore Girls," which originally ran from 2000-07.

Gilmore Girls
Lauren Graham is back by popular demand as single mom Lorelai Gilmore in a Netflix update of "Gilmore Girls" that had fans rejoicing on Friday. Gilmore Girls/Facebook

The show has now been revived on Netflix with "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life," which premiered early Friday and had fans celebrating its return.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.