One Day at a Time star Bonnie Franklin passed away at her Los Angeles home earlier today at the age of 69. While a cause of death wasn't officially announced, her family revealed back in September that the actress was undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Bonnie Franklin was born on January 6, 1944 in Santa Monica, California. She started acting at a very young age, appearing on The Colgate Comedy Hour when she was just nine years old, along with a small, uncredited role in Alfred Hitchcock's The Wrong Man in 1956. She appeared on Broadway opposite Lauren Bacall and Len Cariou in Applause, a musical version of the hit film All About Eve in 1970, a performance which earned her a Tony Award nomination.
She portrayed Ann Romano in the hit CBS sitcom One Day at a Time from 1975 to 1984, where she was nominated for an Emmy and two Golden Globe awards. The character was one of the first divorced mothers ever portrayed on television, on a show that tackled then-taboo subjects such as birth control, teenage runaways, suicide, and sexual harassment. The actress once commented on how the show touched the lives of several Americans soon after debuting.
"As soon as we went on the air, we started receiving a lot of letters," Franklin once said. "The letters were saying: 'This is my life. This is what I'm going through. This is what my mother is like.' And so we pretty quickly got the idea that we were touching something."
After One Day at a Time went off the air, she sparingly popped up in guest start stints on shows such as Almost Perfect, Touched by an Angel, and a 2011 appearance on TVLand's Hot in Cleveland. She also served as a director on four episodes of One Day at a Time and other shows such as Karen's Song, Charles in Charge, and The Munsters Today. She was also an activist for a wide range of causes such as AIDS research and The Stroke Association of Southern California.
She is survived by her sisters Judy and Victoria, her mother Claire, stepchildren Jed and Julie, grandchildren Maya and Natasha, godson Adam, and brothers Bernard and Richard.