Her role in “One Day at a Time” made her famous with millions of fans. Bonnie Franklin, mom to Valerie Bertinelli (Barbara) and Mackenzie Phillips (Julie) showed Americans how a single mother made it alone in 1975. Bonnie Franklin has died at age 69.
The actress died from complications of pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed with the disease in September.
Franklin took on stage and television performances before her role as Ann Romano on “One Day at a Time.”
Franklin was a single mother, raising actress Meredith Baxter by herself. The show was a groundbreaking series that focused on divorced mothers who sought independence from marriages where they felt suffocated.
“One Day at a Time” ran until 1984. The show ended with both girls married and Romano had her first grandchild. Romano had remarried. “One Day at a Time” ran for nine seasons and remained a Top 20 hit through seven of those seasons.
Bertinelli felt like Franklin was a second mother to her and one of the most important women in her life.
My heart is breaking. The years on “One Day at a Time” were some of the happiest of my life. Along with Pat (Harrington Jr.) and Mackenzie, we were a family in every way. She taught me how to navigate this business and life itself with grace and humor and to always be true to yourself. I will miss her terribly.
Franklin was married to TV producer, Marvin Minoff, who died in 2009. The couple were married for 29 years.
Bonnie was born in Santa Monica, Calif. She began her show business career at an early age. She was a child tap dancer and actress under the tutelage of Donald O’Connor. She performed in the 1950s NBC’s “Colgate Comedy Hour.”
Ten years later, Franklin took on roles in episodes of the series, “Mr. Novak,” “Gidget,” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Franklin was in the original Broadway production of “Applause,” for which she received a Tony Award Nomination in 1979. She was also in other plays including “Dames at Sea” and “A Thousand Clowns.”
Franklin appeared more recently in “The Young and the Restless” and the comedy “Hot in Cleveland.” “Hot in Cleveland” gave Franklin and Bertinelli a chance to reunite for one episode.
The family has announced they will hold a private memorial service next week.