Bonnie Franklin, best known for playing Ann Romano on the hit CBS sitcom One Day At A Time, has died at the age of 69.
Born in Santa Monica, CA, Franklin had gotten her start as an actress at the young age of 9, when she appeared on the popular program The Colgate Comedy Hour during the 1950s. She had done some theater work in the early part of her career as well. It wasn’t until landing the main role on One Day At A Time in 1975 that she found success.
That program, produced by Norman Lear, responsible for some of the adult-themed shows of the era (All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son to name a few), showed the divorced Ann Romano, played expertly and headstrong by Franklin, raising two teenagers and all the trials and tribulations being a struggling single mom looking to raise the two kids and all the various growing pains they go through. Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips played the younger and older daughters respectively. Pat Harrington Jr. played the wise-cracking yet respectful janitor with a heart of gold Schneider.
Franklin was nominated for an Emmy and two Golden Globes for her portrayal of Ann Romano and the program ran until 1984. Franklin had also made various appearances in TV films and some game shows during that era, Match Game most notably.
She also directed some TV episodes as well. Franklin in later years had traveled with her own cabaret show and founded the non-profit Classic and Contemporary American Plays, which had a goal to introduce great, classic American plays into inner city schools.
It was disclosed last year that she had pancreatic cancer. She reunited with most of her One Day At A Time cast mates last year at a TV Land function, in which they accepted an Innovator Award. One of her last TV roles was a guest stint on that network’s successful sitcom Hot in Cleveland, in which Valerie Bertinelli stars.
Pat Harrington Jr., Valerie Bertinelli, Bonnie Franklin of “One Day At A Time” at the “Hot In Cleveland” Premiere Party, Sunset Tower, West Hollywood, CA. 01-10-11.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Franklin’s death is another in a long line of sitcom stars who have passed away in the last year, including Robert Hegyes, Ron Pallilo (Welcome Back Kotter), Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons), and Conrad Bain (Maude and Diff’rent Strokes).