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Bonnie Franklin of 'One Day at a Time' dies at 69

March 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Actress Bonnie Franklin, best known for her role as divorced mom Ann Romano in "One Day at a Time," has died. She was 69.

According to family members, Franklin died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer at her home in Los Angeles. She was surrounded by her loving family and friends.

Franklin, a Santa Monica native, was a child tap dancer and actress before "One Day at a Time" made her a star. The series was groundbreaking for its focus on a young divorced mother seeking independence from a suffocating marriage and other contemporary issues such as premarital sex, birth control, suicide, and sexual harassment.

Her on-screen teenage daughter, played by Mackenzie Phillips, remembered Franklin as hardworking and professional in her 2009 memoir "High on Arrival."

"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."

The show remained a Top 20 hit during the first seven of its nine seasons on CBS.

Franklin also appeared on episodic programs such as "Mr. Novak," "Gidget" and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." throughout her career. In 1970, Franklin received a 1970 Tony Award nomination for her role in the original Broadway production of "Applause."

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 Friday. She also was a devoted and longtime activist for a range of charities and civic-oriented issues, among them AIDS care and research, the Stroke Association of Southern California, and the nonprofit Classic and Contemporary American Plays.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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