Actress Bonnie Franklin dies of cancer at 69

Bonnie Franklin, whose portrayal of a pert but determined Ann Romano on the television show “One Day at a Time” in the 1970′s and 80′s spun laughter out of the tribulations of a divorced woman juggling parenting, career, love life and feminist convictions, died on Friday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 69.
said. They had announced the diagnosis in September.
Ms. Franklin also acted on the stage and in movies and for years sang and danced in a nightclub act. But she was most widely known in the role of Ann Romano, one of the first independent women to be portrayed on TV wrestling with issues like sexual harassment, rape and menopause. Ms. Franklin — green-eyed, red-haired, button-nosed and 5-foot-3 — brought a buoyant comic touch to the part.
Some saw the show as helping feminism enter the mainstream.
“I know it’s just a television show, and I don’t think that I am changing the way the world is structured” – Ms. Franklin told The Washington Post in 1980, but she allowed that “sometimes we strike chords that do make people think a bit.”

Actress Bonnie Franklin dies of cancer at 69
Bonnie Franklin.

Actress Bonnie Franklin, a Tony Award nominee who played a single mom at the center of the hit TV sitcom “One Day at a Time,” died Friday of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Franklin was 69.
The woman who played the youngest daughter of Franklin’s character on the CBS show, Valerie Bertinelli, said her “heart is breaking” after hearing the news.
“Bonnie has always been one of the most important women in my life and was a second mother to me” – Bertinelli said. “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.”
Actress Mackenzie Phillips later tweeted a picture of her and Franklin, who played her mom on the same program.
“Remembering my friend” – Phillips wrote. “Rest in peace.”

Franklin was born January 6, 1944, in Santa Monica, Calif. Her mother and father were Jewish immigrants, from Romania and Russia, respectively. She kicked off her 60-year career at age 9, tap dancing with Donald O’Connor on the “Colgate Comedy Hour.” She continued as a young teenager on such TV shows as “Gidget,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “The Munsters,” among others.
After her graduation from UCLA, she starred in several theater productions in New York, even earning a Tony nomination in 1970 for her show-stopping performance in the original production of the Broadway musical “Applause,” making Franklin one of the youngest performers to ever receive that honor.
The actress was married to playwright Ronald Sossi from 1967 to 1970. She married film producer Marvin Minoff in 1980 after they’d worked on the TV movie “Portrait of a Rebel: Margaret Sanger,” about the public health advocate, together. Their marriage lasted until Minoff’s death in 2009. Franklin had no children.
A private memorial service will be held Monday. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in the actress’s memory to CCAP, 11684 Ventura Boulevard, 437, Studio City, CA 91604.
Franklin’s former co-star, Bertinelli, wrote on her website Friday: “My heart is breaking. Bonnie has always been one of the most important women in my life and was a second mother to me. The years on “One Day at a Time” were some of the happiest of my life, and along with Pat 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.”

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