Friday, March 01, 2013

RIP Bonnie Franklin

“I know it’s just a television show, and I don’t think that I am changing the way the world is structured,” Ms. Franklin told The Washington Post in 1980, but she allowed that “sometimes we strike chords that do make people think a bit.”

Veteran stage and screen actress Bonnie Franklin, sadly passed away today due to complications from pancreatic cancer—she was 69. Franklin was popular for portraying fiery single working mother Ann Romano on Norman Lear's hit TV comedy One Day at a Time (1975-1984). The show explored controversial sociopolitical issues with humour, a Lear sitcom hallmark. I loved that Franklin's character Ann, reflected the spirit of 1970s feminism and insisted on being called "Ms." Romano. In fact, Franklin strongly advocated for writers and producers to maintain Ann Romano's integrity and independence.

Lovely tributes have poured in today from her colleagues and friends, including her TV daughters:

"My heart is breaking. Bonnie has always been one of the most important women in my life and was a second mother to me. The years on One Day at a Time were some of the happiest of my life, and along with Pat [Harrington Jr.] and Mackenzie [Phillips] 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."—Valerie Bertinelli  

"I am so saddened by the loss of our dear friend. She was just full of light and love. Bonnie will be very much missed by all the people she touched ... We all loved her very much.”—Mackenzie Phillips 

I watched this show regularly as a child. Working class family life in an apartment building was what I related to the most. I wasn't always allowed to watch the show (owing to the mature themes) but whenever I was within ear shot: I listened and observed. Loved the theme song, especially.

RIP Bonnie Franklin.

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