Bonnie Franklin, the woman who played the short but unstoppable Ann Romano on the television show One Day at a Time, died on Friday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 69.
According to The New York Times, “The cause was complications of pancreatic cancer.”
While Franklin had a long acting career, most viewers became familiar with her thanks to the sitcom, One Day at a Time. It ran from December 1975 to May 1984, and ranked as one of the top 20 shows in eight of those seasons, and in the top 10 in four seasons. In the show, Franklin played a divorced mother who left her husband and moved to Indianapolis with her two daughters, Julie and Barbara Cooper, played by Mackenzie Phillips and current Hot In Cleveland star Valerie Bertinelli. She also reverted to her maiden name, which along with the countless female-driven plots made many view the show in a very 1970’s feminist light.
The show was co-created with Whitney Blake, a former sitcom star who, as a single mother, had raised future actress Meredith Baxter. One Day at a Time dealt with numerous real-world issues, many of them pretty heavy, but Franklin always inspired a laugh when an outlandish moment triggered her stunned, “Oh my Godddd….” signature response. She was nominated for an Emmy Award and twice for a Golden Globe.
“I know it’s just a television show, and I don’t think that I am changing the way the world is structured,” she told The Washington Post in 1980, but she acknowledged that “sometimes we strike chords that do make people think a bit.”
Franklin recently took a cameo role on Hot In Cleveland, starring opposite her former TV daughter Bertinelli. In the episode, she played the cold mother of Bertinelli’s love interest.
For more on Franklin, her long career and activist work, read more on The New York Times.