Actress starred in 'One Day at a Time' sitcom

Posted 4:00pm on Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013

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 home in Los Angeles of complications from pancreatic cancer, family members said. She was 69. Her family had announced that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September.

Ms. 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, 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.

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