Bonnie Franklin

  • Born: January 6, 1944
  • Died: March 1, 2013
  • Location: Los Angeles, California

Tribute


Bonnie Franklin, of the 1970's sitcom "One Day at a Time, " appears on the the NBC "Today" television program in New York, when the cast was reunited Tuesday Feb. 26, 2008.

"One Day At a Time" star dies at 69

FRAZIER MOORE, The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Bonnie Franklin, the pert, redheaded actress whom millions came to identify with for her role as divorced mom Ann Romano on the long-running sitcom "One Day at a Time," has died.

She died Friday at her home in Los Angeles due to complications from pancreatic cancer, family members said. She was 69. Her family had announced she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September.

Franklin was a veteran stage and television performer before "One Day At a Time" made her a star.

Developed by Norman Lear and co-created by Whitney Blake — herself a former sitcom star and single mother raising future actress Meredith Baxter — the series was groundbreaking for its focus on a young divorced mother seeking independence from a suffocating marriage.

It premiered on CBS in December 1975, just five years after the network had balked at having Mary Tyler Moore play a divorced woman on her own comedy series, insisting that newly single Mary Richards be portrayed as having ended her engagement instead.

On her own in Indianapolis, Ann Romano was raising two teenage girls — played by Mackenzie Phillips, already famous for the film "American Graffiti," and a previously unknown Valerie Bertinelli. "One Day At a Time" ran on CBS until 1984, by which time both daughters had grown and married, while Romano had remarried and become a grandmother. During the first seven of its nine seasons on the air, the show was a Top 20 hit.

Like other Lear productions such as "All in the Family" and "Good Times," ''One Day at a Time" dealt with contemporary issues once absent from TV comedies such as premarital sex, birth control, suicide and sexual harassment — issues that had previously been overlooked by TV comedies whose households were usually headed by a husband and wife or, rarely, a widowed parent.

Meanwhile, the series weathered its own crises as Phillips was twice written out of the series to deal with her drug abuse and other personal problems.

Writing in her 2009 memoir "High On Arrival," Phillips remembered Franklin as hardworking and professional, even a perfectionist.

"Bonnie felt a responsibility to the character and always gave a million notes on the scripts," Phillips wrote. "Above all, she didn't want it to be sitcom fluff — she wanted it to deal honestly with the struggles and truths of raising two teenagers as a single mother."

In her 2008 memoir "Losing It," Bertinelli noted that Franklin, just 31 when the show began, wasn't old enough to be her real mother.

Even so, wrote Bertinelli, "within a few days I recognized her immense talent and felt privileged to work with her. ... She was like a hip, younger complement to my real mom."

The truth of "One Day at a Time" was brought home to Franklin when in 2005 she got together with both TV daughters for a "One Day at a Time" reunion special. She told both actresses, "You are living, in a sense, Ann Romano's life — you are single parents raising teenage kids. That is shocking and terrifying to me."

Bertinelli reiterated Friday that Franklin was a "second mother to me" and one of the most important women in her life.

"My heart is breaking," Bertinelli said in a statement. "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."

Lear noted that despite tackling some serious subjects in her work, Franklin always stayed cheery and positive.

"I was wrong — I thought life forces never die. Bonnie was such a life force," Lear said in a statement. "Bubbly, always up, the smile never left her face."

Franklin herself was married for 29 years. Her husband, TV producer Marvin Minoff, died in 2009.

Born Bonnie Gail Franklin in Santa Monica, Calif., she entered show business at an early age. She was a child tap dancer and actress, and a protege of Donald O'Connor, with whom she performed in the 1950s on NBC's "Colgate Comedy Hour."

A decade later, she was appearing on such episodic programs as "Mr. Novak," ''Gidget" and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

On stage, Franklin was in the original Broadway production of "Applause," for which she received a 1970 Tony Award nomination, and other plays including "Dames at Sea" and "A Thousand Clowns."

Franklin's recent credits include appearances on "The Young and the Restless" and the TV Land comedy "Hot in Cleveland," which again reunited her with Bertinelli, one of that show's regulars.

Franklin was a "devoted mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend," her family said in a statement. She also was a longtime activist for a range of charities and civic-oriented issues, among them AIDS care and research and the Stroke Association of Southern California.

In 2001, she and her sister Judy Bush founded the nonprofit Classic and Contemporary American Plays, an organization that introduces great American plays to inner-city schools' curriculum.

A private memorial will be held next week, her family said.


Condolence & Memory Journal

To Bonnie Franklin Who played Ann Romano a very talented actress who played a single mom on one day at a time, to 2 teenage girls, she played that role very well I will always treasure her as a fine actress. My condolences go out to the family at this time of sorrow may god hold you in the palm of his hand.

Posted by Rosemary - Phila, PA   February 19, 2017

I watched you during my teen years in the 70's and now watch re-runs. It's like time has stood still as it brings me back to my youth! You were an awesome actress. Wish you were on a current television series. You were so good. Love to you Bonnie. See you in Heaven...Joan

Posted by Joan - KS - FAN!!   August 27, 2015

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To Bonnie Franklin.
You were a very talented actress. I enjoyed watching you play the character Ann Romano on the sitcom One day a time. My prayers go to your family and friends. Lisa Weiner

Posted by Lisa Weiner - Brooklyn, NY - fan   April 12, 2015

You will be missed by Rabbi Stinkowitz.

Posted by L.I. Ingheeb - Minneapolis, MN   June 19, 2014

Bonnie allowed me to watch her in the play Alabama Hot Pocket one summer in the 80s. She was brilliant and will be missed.

Posted by Jay Rogers - Fan   March 23, 2014

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Loved the show! You'll be missed Bonnie!

Posted by sj - Orlando, FL - no   July 27, 2013

May Bonnie sleep peacefully, until our dear God Jehovah makes all things new(Revelation 21:5)

Posted by m.king - Greensboro, NC - fan   June 07, 2013

This was a good person. I met her at the So California Stroke Assn. Devoid of ego, willing to speak to everyone, pose for photos, sign autographs. pushed wheelchairs; announced prizes; she did some of everything, not the least of which was to take the lead to ensure that everyone had fun even though she was serious about the cause - the
annual Walk/Run fund raisers. Tireless and charitable. Memorable and adorable. Oh, and she could also sing, dance and act! Rest in peace dear lady. You lit the world with your light. You entertained us and lived your life in such a way people loved to be in your presence. From a star on earth to a star in heaven. Thank you!

Posted by Tim - Saint Louis, MO - Fan   April 13, 2013

RIP

Posted by Annette - San Francisco, CA   April 03, 2013

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R.I.P. Ms. Bonnie, Gone but not forgotten

Posted by Ruby Hart-Aulderman - Quincy, FL   April 03, 2013

I grew up watching one day at a time we have lost a great lady but heaven as gain a great lady

Posted by Bonnie watson - Pineville, LA - Fan   April 03, 2013

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Bonnie, I already miss you. As the 1st physically disabled on-set page, a lot of obstacles & negativity were thrown at me. Your kindness, generosity and humor made all the rest of nonsense much easier too with at a pivitol time in my life. Being a fellow redhead with very fair skin you shared tips on things as simple as makeup & complex as dealing with the negative people. I feel a deep hole in my heart but also smile at the wonderful memories in which you are the bright smiling star. I will always remember you with the deepest warmth. Peace, dearly lady.

Posted by Susan Chilcote - Los Angeles, CA - Former phone page on One Day   March 28, 2013

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Love you, Bonnie. I've been a tap teacher since I was 12, too (turning 60 soon). Have your vhs tape and Applause lp. You've been such an inspiration. All-round talent. Lived life to the fullest. It's your turn to rest in peace my friend. See you, but will remember your cuteness (beauty), captivating smile, sweet disposition, infectious laugh, forever. Shirley W.

Posted by Shirley Wolowicz - Phoenix, AZ & Providence, R. - friend   March 10, 2013

I couldn't wait until One Day at a Time would air. The show represented so many of us women who were single Moms raising children on our own. You will be missed. I have your family as well as extended family in my prayers.

Posted by (Ms.) Rickie Peters - Houston, TX - Other   March 05, 2013

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Rest in peace Bonnie. You were an inspiration to me growing up watching 'One Day at a Time' as a child. You not only helped to shape me, but millions of others in the world as well growing up one day at a time. God Bless you.

Posted by Christopher - Kissimmee, FL - Fan   March 05, 2013

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You were a wonderful actress and will be dearly missed. Enjoyed your latest role on Young and the Restless. Now the angels are with you too. RIP

Posted by Linda Treihaft - Powell Butte, OR - Fan   March 05, 2013

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She will be missed.

Posted by Cindy davenport - Palm desert, CA - Fan   March 05, 2013

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Rest in Peace, Bonnie

Posted by Gary - Houston, TX - Friend   March 05, 2013

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you are the mom everyone wishes for, peace go with you!!

Posted by bonnie alexander - royal oak, MI - a fan   March 05, 2013

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This is it.,this life so go and have a ball!!!

Posted by Colleen    March 05, 2013

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She played the mom I always thought was the best. Rest well, you brought joy to so many.

Posted by Tracy - Miamisburg, OH - Fan   March 05, 2013

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Rest in Peace Bonnie Franklin you made us all laugh and. Know it Gods turn to laugh car we all did you will be missed God Bless you and your Family

Posted by Edward Frost - Los Angeles, CA - Fan   March 05, 2013

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MAY YOU REST IN PEACE,I WATCHED ONE DAY AT A TIME EVERY WEEK,IT WAS A GREAT CLEAN SHOW.MARGARET

Posted by MARGARET FYFFE - COLORADO SPRING, CO - NO   March 05, 2013

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Thank you for the wonderful years of entertainment.

Posted by Sharon Baldwin Moxley - Aberdeen, MD - Friend   March 05, 2013

May the angels guide you safely home. My condolences to the family members.

Posted by Sharon Baldwin Moxley - Aberdeen, MD - Friend   March 05, 2013

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Rest in Peace

Posted by Jackie - Wood-Ridge, NJ - friend   March 04, 2013

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I watched my One Day DVD, as my way of remembering Bonnie Franklin. Hopefully, this sad event will bring the show back to TV. What a good show it still is and it deserves to be seen as much as all the other Norman Lear shows. I enjoyed when Bonnie guested on Hot in Clevland. Another person I grew-up with has died.

Posted by Susan Silverberg - Wayne, PA - Fan   March 04, 2013

God Bless your Family, you will truly be missed March 4,2013

Posted by marilynn Torbert - Marietta, GA - Fan   March 04, 2013

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God bless you RIP.

Posted by Melissa Sharp - Springfield, MA - fan   March 04, 2013

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Rest in everlasting beauty and peace Bonnie

Posted by Debi - Athol, MA   March 04, 2013

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you gave hope to women that just maybe divorce was not death even if it was on t.v.

Posted by g.g. - everett, WA - huge fan   March 04, 2013

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Bonnie rest in peace you will be missed may your light continue to shine

Posted by reinbow sibley - champaign, IL - fan   March 04, 2013

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Thank You Prayers too your Family

Posted by Ellie - NC   March 04, 2013

Heartfelt sympathies & prayers to family. Such a lovely, multi-talented woman. She will be greatly missed by all.

Posted by Linda Auld - Alamogordo,, NM - Fan   March 04, 2013

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May you rest in peace in God's loving arms. Praying for those you left behind Bonnie. You will not be forgotten.

Posted by Marla Porter - Cincinnati, OH - no   March 04, 2013

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So sad that another life was lost to such a horrible disease. Bonnie, may God bless you always. Prayers and condolences are with your family at this difficult time.

Posted by SJ - Holmdel, NJ - Fan   March 04, 2013

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so sorry to the family i loved her show one day at a time

Posted by deanna feierstein - coolidge, AZ - fan   March 04, 2013

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Posted by The S's - Atlanta,, GA - fans   March 04, 2013

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Rest in Peace. Loved watching One Day at a Time. You will be missed.

Posted by MaryAnn Kosir - Ridgewood, NY - Fan   March 04, 2013

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To the Loving family and friends of Bonnie Franklin, Praying that you feel the comfort of God's Love during these difficult times! With our Sincere Sympathies, M. and M. Buttry

Posted by Mary and Mike Buttry - Athens, IL - Fan   March 03, 2013

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I'm so sorry you've moved on to the next life Bonnie.....u were so much fun to watch on One Day at a Time and such a spitfire in real life as well. You were the same age as my mom is and I can't imagine living life without her here.....so my heart goes out to your family. Love from Kaila

Posted by Kaila J - Richland, WA   March 03, 2013

I loved Bonnie on One Day At a Time and was sad to learn of her passing. My prayers to her family and friends she was far to young to leave us. Regards, Bunny D. Danbury, CT

Posted by Bunny DeVito - Danbury, CT - Fan   March 03, 2013

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I am so sorry and so sad to hear this. A big part of my life is gone. Bonnie and "her two girls" were struggling to get by when my Mom and her two girls were also. Although my Mom has been gone 5 years now, I feel like I've lost her again today.

I wish comfort and peace for Bonnie's family - and the rest of us that just felt like we are.

Love,
Vandi Terry, Gardendale, Al.

Posted by Vandi Terry - Gardendale, AL - Fan   March 03, 2013

I was 8 at the time "One Day at a Time" first aired and watched the show whole heatedly. GOD Bless your soul Bonnie (aka Ann Romano.) You were an Icon and part of the ground breaking saga of divorced women surviving with children from the 1970's.

Posted by Michael Brown - Covington, KY - Fan of watching her show.   March 03, 2013

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Bonnie, now you are sheltered in the arms of God. I loved One Day at a Time, watching your show was some of the best memories of my life. Tina, Lantana, FL

Posted by Tina Cote - lantana, FL - fan   March 03, 2013

I'm so sad to learn of Bonnie's passing. LOVED "One Day At A Time" & had to sneak to watch w/ my little sister when our parents were away (too racy!) :). One night. Ann & I were watching an episode in the basement...Julie & Barbara were "pigging out" on something that I cannot remember. Ann (my sister) & I ran upstairs & made a box of chocolate pudding...we proceeded to eat the entire pudding while laughing hysterically @ the show! We loved Bonnie as Ann Romano & her girls! Our parents came home earlier than expected & we quickly turned off the TV, but had no time to cover our pudding adventure...got into a little
trouble for that, & we still laugh about it today. Thanks for the memories. Bonnie, & we know it is well with you in Heaven...we pray your family receives comfort from so many happy times, & we thank you for sharing Bonnie with us. Peace...Love...Beth & Ann, Fans

Posted by Beth Cothell - Plain City, OH - Fan of "One Day At A Time"   March 03, 2013

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Bonnie is resting in our Loving Lord's arms. R.I.P. Bonnie

Posted by Sue Ralston - Port Charlotte, FL - Fan   March 03, 2013

I am just a fan of Bonnies,growing up watching "One Day" but i really felt that she WAS the mother I always wanted. My own Mom died of Pancriatic C. and I was just saddened to hear of Bonnies passing. God Bless. Steve Martin Tempe AZ.

Posted by Steve Martin - Tempe, AR - Huge Fan   March 03, 2013

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So sorry to hear of her passing... I enjoyed her on One Day at a Time, and more recently was delighted to see her back in our living rooms on Young and the Restless. She seemed like a lovely person and from all the outpouring of sympathy, many others felt the same way. May she rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers to those who loved her.

Posted by Jo - Marlton, NJ - no relation, enjoyed her talent   March 03, 2013

God bless your family my prayers go out to you i loved one day at a time

Posted by RHONDA MANION - HENDERSON, KY - fan   March 03, 2013

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When I heard the announcement of Bonnie Franklin's passing on the morning news yesterday, tears automatically sprang to my eyes. I knew Bonnie in her 20s and maybe early 30s, as well as her sister Julie, and feel compelled first of all to offer my condolences to Julie and Bonnie's entire family that I haven't met. Bonnie and I, as well as Julie, took singing lessons from the late great Florence Russell. We often warmed up together in Mrs. R's beautiful big studio (actually a generous room in her family home on Larchmont Avenue), as our teacher's toucan commented on our respective progress. Bonnie was so nice and funny and sweet--as fans of "One Day At a Time" would certainly expect her to be. She was in person as she was on stage and on the TV screen, warm, generous and totally genuine. I'm honored to have known her and I share in your sadness. Yet...What an incredible legacy she leaves to art, progress, women, single moms, children of single parent families...she made an enormous impact. So viva! Bonnie. You won't be forgotten!

Posted by Joanie Fritz Zosike - New York, NY - Acquaintance   March 03, 2013

I loved you and the girls from One day at a Time and the funny man I can't think of the name right now. I'm 85 so please forgive me. You will be missed by Millions.

Posted by Ernie Nowack - Northport, NY - TV friend   March 03, 2013

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I loved your show very much and I truly think you were a lot of people's second Mom. You will be greatly missed. Heaven's gain is our loss.

Posted by Becky Roberson - Louisville, KY, KY - Fan   March 03, 2013

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You will be missed. I really truely loved your show and acting. May you be with the lord.

Posted by Tracey Nolan - Casselberry, FL - Tv Friend   March 03, 2013

Baruch Dayan Ha'emes, a sad day. I loved Ms. Franklin's work. The character she played gave me encouragement when I was a young, divorced mother. I'm so sorry to hear of her death and my heart goes out to her family.

Posted by E. S. Carroll - Norfolk, VA - fan for years   March 03, 2013

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I am so sorry to hear of Bonnie's passing! My heartfelt condolences to her family. I remember watching her on One Day at a Time, a very big fan of hers! RIP Bonnie, you will be missed.

Posted by Tania Lafave - North Syracuse, NY - fan   March 02, 2013

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I'm so heartbroken... I can't believe she's gone... Extremely sad... RIP dear sweet Bonnie. You will be greatly missed. Another one of God's Angels...

Posted by Kimberley Dwello - Gridley, CA - fan   March 02, 2013

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RIP Shorty!! We'll miss you

Posted by jc - western, MA - fan   March 02, 2013

Much love to those who miss her!

Posted by nik - phx, AZ - friend   March 02, 2013

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I grew up in a single family home my sister and I both teenagers as the tv sitcom. Ms. Franklin's role was so real to being practical in the late 70's. I'm sure the compassion she showed to everyone was hardly an act. The compassion she displayed can be reciprocated back to her as with the compassion of Christ JESUS because his father, Jehovah will allow him to wake up all those in the memorial tombs, as his word is promised in the bible at John 5:28,29. To an earth free of crime, pain, suffering and death. (Rev. 21:3,4. Psalm 37:9, 10) To last forever! (Psalm 37:29)

Posted by Mrs. Shandell - Summerville, SC - of   March 02, 2013

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You changed the view of divorced women on television...RIP

Posted by Patricia Pinzarrone - Bushkill, PA - fan   March 02, 2013

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May you soar with the angels Bonnie and be at such joy now and no suffering in the presence of our Lord and Savior. My sister when she was younger in her 20's and 30's (she is your age now) was mistakened as you by people all the time. God Bless Kathy Veum-Sorrow from Reno,NV

Posted by Kathy Veum-Sorrow - Reno - Fan   March 02, 2013

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Rest In Peace

Posted by Rocshelle - Philadelphia, PA   March 02, 2013

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Such an icon from that era, I never missed an episode, RIP Bonnie Franklin♡

Posted by Joanne - Tucson, AZ - fan   March 02, 2013

Leave a condolence or a memory.Bonnie with Becky greatly missed .I loved here on One Day at a time .

Posted by Beth Harrod - WILKES -BARRE, PA - A Fan   March 02, 2013

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Bonnie will sure be missed.May her family draw comfort from God's promise to bring this enemy, death, to nothing.
Accept my deepest condolences.
Jasmine

Posted by Jasmine - Spring, TX - No   March 02, 2013

R.I.P I was a teenager when One
Day At A Time aired and I loved watching it. May God bless the family in this time of sorrow. Psalms 72:12 For he will deliver the poor one crying for help, Also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper.

Posted by Ann - AZ - Fan   March 02, 2013

Bonnie gave me and my family many hours of enjoyment. Her life ended way too soon. May she rest in peace. My condolences to her family.

Posted by Mary A. - Sacramento, CA   March 02, 2013

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Bonnie will be missed by so many. She was a beautiful person, wonderful actress and gave all of us a night to look forward to when her show, "One Day At A Time," was televised. May you rest in peace and my thoughts and prayers are sent to all of your family and friends.

Posted by Linds Goumenis - Chesapeake, VA - No   March 02, 2013

What a beautiful soul and a blessing to so many. Thanks for the memories dear lady and now rest in peace in heaven above and we will take things one day at a time....in your memory♥

Posted by BrendA - Elkhart, IN - Viewer   March 02, 2013

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I am so saddened to her of her death. My sympathy and prayers to family and friends. She was a wonderful actress and I enjoyed One Day at a Time - never missed a show. Rest in Peace Bonnie. Diana Staruh, Laurel, MD, 03/01/2013

Posted by Diana Staruh - Laurel, MD - Fan   March 01, 2013

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Rest in peace. Never missed "One Day at a Time". Sympathy to her family.

Posted by Mary Loudon - Lombard, IL, IL - Fan   March 01, 2013

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A great actress in her time rest in Peace.

Posted by Rita Mercurio - Antioch, CA   March 01, 2013

Bonnie and her character Ann Romono (Ms Romono, as her boss called her) are among my heros. Her portrayl of her character was flawless. While I know she has gone to a better place, and I'm glad she's out of pain....I always remember the impact she has had on my life....'One Day at a Time'

Posted by Betty Hauser - Nampa, ID - Fan   March 01, 2013

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Sorry for the loss. Rest in peace.

Posted by marilyn - Pensacola, FL - fan   March 01, 2013

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Sorry to hear this. She was a good actress and I remember she had a great laugh. My sympathy goes to her family.

Posted by Patti Page Johnson - North Myrtle Beach, SC - Fan   March 01, 2013

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So sad, she will be missed. I always loved her in "One Day at a Time" God Bless her family.

Posted by Tina Raymond - Huntingdon Valley, PA - fan   March 01, 2013

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So sorry to hear of the passing of this TV icon. I loved watching her on "One day at a Time" and on Y&R just a few months ago. To the family members, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Cherry Armstrong - Clover, SC   March 01, 2013

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so sad...I loved watching her on Y&R just a few short months ago

Posted by Kelly Collins - Cleveland, OH - fan   March 01, 2013

Bonnie Franklin had been best known for here role in the CBS-TV Network prime-time sitcom series "One Day At A Time" (which ran on the "Tiffany Network" (CBS) from Dec., 1975 until the conclusion of the 1983/1984 prime-time season and came from the creator (Norman Lear) and producers of the landmark sitcom series "All In The Family"-"Archie Bunker's Place"). This lady will be missed.

Posted by Christopher Hagee - PA - N/A   March 01, 2013


Family Album

One Day at a Time cast members, from left, Richard Masur, Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington Jr., Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips are honored during the TV Land Awards, Saturday, April 14, 2012 in New York.
Actress Valerie Bertinelli, left, Bonnie Franklin, center and Mackenzie Phillips from the television series "One Day At A Time," arrive at CBS's 75th anniversary celebration Sunday, Nov. 2, 2003, in New York.
Bonnie Franklin, of the 1970's sitcom "One Day at a Time, " appears on the the NBC "Today" television program in New York, when the cast was reunited Tuesday Feb. 26, 2008.
Bonnie Franklin, left, MacKenzie Phillips,second from left, Valerie Bertinelli and Pat Harrington,right, of the 1970's television sitcom "One Day at a Time, " were reunited for a segment of the NBC "Today" television program in New York, Tuesday Feb. 26, 2008.