Bonnie Franklin

Active - 1956 - 1987  |   Born - Jan 6, 1944 in Santa Monica, California, United States  |   Died - Mar 1, 2013   |   Genres - Comedy, Children's/Family, Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Perky, red-haired actress Bonnie Franklin is best remembered for playing plucky single mom Ann Romano on the long-running sitcom One Day at a Time (1975-1984). Franklin began her acting career at age 12 when she appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock made-for-television movie The Wrong Man in 1956; that year she also appeared in a feature-film episode of the Kettle family saga, The Kettles in the Ozarks. Through the '60s, Franklin only appeared a couple of times as a guest star on television series such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. While working on her sitcom, Franklin occasionally appeared in television movies. After the series' demise, her television work became sporadic, and by the early '90s, she had left the medium altogether, though Franklin continued acting in regional theater and in cross-country tours of plays, occasionally returning to the screen for small appearances. Franklin reuinted with her One Day at a Time daughter Valerie Bertinelli in an episode of Hot in Cleveland in 2011, but her return to acting was short-lived. After announcing she had pancreatic cancer in 2012, Franklin passed away due to complications from the disease in 2013 at the age of 69.

Movie Highlights

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  • As a child, started out as a professional tap dancer, performing on TV shows such as The Colgate Comedy Hour.
  • At age 12, began acting with a small role in Alfred Hitchcock's made-for-TV movie The Wrong Man. 
  • In 1968, launched a rich stage career with an appearance in an off-Broadway production of the musical Your Own Thing.
  • Her 1970 Broadway debut in the musical Applause earned her numerous accolades, including the Theatre World Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony Award nomination.  
  • Best known for her role as divorced mom Ann Romano in the classic sitcom One Day at a Time (1975-84).
  • Released several fitness videos including I Hate to Exercise, but I Love to Tap and Bonnie Franklin: Let's Tap.