LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Actress and humanitarian Bonnie Franklin has died due to complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 69.
KNX 1070’s Brian Ping reports Franklin, who died Friday surrounded by her family and friends, was best known for her role as Ann Romano on the longest-running hit CBS television series “One Day at a Time”.
A graduate of UCLA, Franklin made her Broadway debut in “Applause”, which earned her a Tony nomination. She also earned multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
But it was Franklin’s turn as a single mom on the Norman Lear sitcom that catapulted her to stardom and helped push “One Day At A Time” into a Top 20 hit for the first seven of its nine seasons on the air.
“My heart is breaking,” said costar Valerie Bertinelli. “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.”
In 1980, Franklin married producer Marvin Minoff and the couple were together until his death in 2009.
Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson said the Santa Monica-born actress he broke new ground for television in the mid-1970s.
“She was a single mother, she was under control, but you could really constantly sense the stress that she had, and I think a lot of people appreciated a television show that actually demonstrated that parenting could be difficult,” Thompson said.
She is survived by her mother, stepchildren, grandchildren, godson, sisters and brothers-in-law, and brothers and sisters-in-law.
A private memorial for Franklin will be held next week.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Classic and Contemporary American Plays, the non-profit organization she founded with her sister, Judy Bush.