Bonnie Gail Franklin passed on today at age 69 due to pancreatic cancer (ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas). To those of a certain age (this author included) Ms. Franklin will always be associated with Ann Romano, her role as the divorced mother of two in the sitcom “One Day at a Time” on CBS from December 1995 until 1984. This was one of Norman Lear’s series that attempted to portray a more real America to TV viewers, and Bonnie Franklin admirably filled that role.
She played the Ann Romano role as complex with the uncertainties as well as compensations of a single mom raising her girls in a changing world. The daughters were played by Mackenzie Phillips (daughter of founders of the Mammas and Pappas pop singing group) and by Valerie Bertinelli (who later married rock star Eddie Van Halen – and has continued on as a star in her own right). Pat Harrington played with humor the character of the building supervisor, Dwayne Schneider.
Bonnie Franklin was a California gorl. She was born in Santa Monica and attended Beverly Hill High School. Later she went to Smith College and eventually back to UCLA. Her first role as an actor was at age nine in the Colgate Comedy Hour. . She acted in television, movies and theatre including Broadway productions. She was nominated for Emmy awards, a Tony, and for the Golden Globes.
In September of 3012 Bonnie Franklin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died at her home in Los Angles earlier today.
May Bonnie Gail Franklin rest in peace. And may her friends and family accept our deepest condolences. She was a lovely and talented actress.
Dale O’Brien, MD