‘One Day at a Time’ actress Bonnie Franklin dead at 69

One Day at a Time

Photo: CBS

Actress Bonnie Franklin died today in her Los Angeles home from complications of pancreatic cancer, according to a statement released by CBS on behalf of the family.

Franklin was best known for her role in CBS’s comedy “One Day at a Time,” playing a single working mother. A Broadway actor prior to joining the hit television show as Ann Romano, she garnered a Tony nomination and a Theatre World Award for her work in the Broadway musical “Applause.”

In 1975 Franklin signed on as the divorcee for the hit comedy show and it was an instant hit with viewers for its portrayal of a typical family of the time. This in sharp contrast to earlier family shows like “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Brady Bunch.”

“Ms. Franklin helped define and illuminate the role of single working mothers within the cultural landscape,” CBS wrote in the statement.

The show followed the day-to-day lives of her two acting teenage girls played by Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips, covering subjects such as teen sex, suicide, and sexual harassment.

Actor Pat Harrington added much needed comedy into the show by playing Dwayne Schneider, who was the meddling and bumbling building superintendent.

The series ran for nine years with Franklin trying to keep the cast together as off-camera antics started taking their toll, with Phillips battling drug problems, which ultimately led to Phillip’s arrest and dismissal from the show.

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