Bonnie Franklin, 'One Day at a Time' Mom, Dies at 69

Friday, 01 Mar 2013 01:42 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Bonnie Franklin, star of the Norman Lear sitcom "One Day at a Time," died Friday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 69.

She had been battling pancreatic cancer after being diagnosed in September, her family said.

Franklin's "One Day at a Time" portrayal of Ann Romano, a Midwestern divorced mom raising two teenage girls, earned her Emmy and Golden Globe award nominations. The show also gave rise to Mackenzie Phillips (who was 16 when the show premiered) and Valerie Bertinelli (then 15) who played Franklin's daughters on the show. Pat Harrington Jr. played the charismatic superintendent of the family's apartment building. The sitcom aired for nine seasons on CBS from 1975 to 1984.

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"One Day at a Time," like other Lear hits "Maude" and "All in the Family," confronted complex social themes like suicide, teen runaways, and birth control.

"As soon as we went on the air we started receiving a lot of letters," Franklin once said in an interview. "The letters were saying, 'This is my life. This is what I’m going through. This is what my mother is like.' And so we pretty quickly got the idea that we were touching something."

Franklin was born in Santa Monica on Jan. 6, 1944, and graduated from UCLA with an English degree.

Franklin, a perky 5-foot-3 redhead, got her start on the stage, and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1970 for her role as a gypsy in the Betty Comden-Adolph Green musical "Applause."

Most recently, Franklin appeared on "The Young and the Restless" and TV Land comedy "Hot in Cleveland."

Her husband of 29 years, producer Marvin Minoff, died in 2009.

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