Bonnie Franklin, the actress who created an indelible television character playing a divorced, working mother of two headstrong daughters on the long-running series “One Day at a Time,” died Friday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 69.
The cause was complications from pancreatic cancer, her family announced.
By the mid-1970s, Franklin was a theater veteran who had earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the Broadway musical “Applause” when she was offered a different kind of role, one that was not then the usual fare on network television.
Developed by Norman Lear, the new CBS series would tell the story of Ann Romano, a divorced woman in her 30s raising two teenagers and building a new life for herself in her hometown of Indianapolis. Franklin’s character wasn’t the first divorced woman on network television but the role, like those of other characters in Lear’s groundbreaking sitcoms, was infused with a new level of social realism.
Franklin was nominated for an Emmy in 1982 and twice nominated for Golden Globe awards for her portrayal of Romano.
Over its run from 1975 to 1984, which made its tenure among the longest of Lear’s series, "One Day at a Time' tackled such provocative issues as teen sex, birth control and infidelity.