Valerie Bertinelli, Mackenzie Phillips, fans remember 'One Day at a Time' mom Bonnie Franklin

Yahoo TV
FILE - This Feb. 26, 2008 file photo shows, from left, Bonnie Franklin, MacKenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli and Pat Harrington of the 1970's television sitcom "One Day at a Time, " on the NBC "Today" television program in New York.  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,"  died Friday, March 1, 2013, at her home due to complications from pancreatic cancer, family members said. She was 69. Her family had announced she was diagnosed with cancer in September. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

View photo

The death of beloved "One Day at a Time" star Bonnie Franklin has left her many fans mourning.

Franklin passed away on Friday from complications related to pancreatic cancer. She was 69.

The sassy redhead earned adulation for her trailblazing portrayal of single mom Ann Romano on the classic late '70s Norman Lear comedy.

Both of her TV daughters, Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips, expressed their grief over Franklin's passing.

"My heart is breaking. Bonnie has always been one of the most important women in my life and was a second mother to me," 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."

Phillips said, "I am so saddened by the loss of our dear friend, Bonnie Franklin. She was just full of light and love. Bonnie will be very much missed by all the people she touched with her love. Family, friends and fans. Please respect the privacy of her wonderful family at this difficult time. We all loved her very much."

While Ann Romano wasn't the first divorced woman on television, the role was still a groundbreaking one for its realistic depiction of single motherhood. For nine years, audiences watched Romano try to balance her career with raising two teen girls. The plucky Romano guided them through issues like premarital sex, birth control, suicide, and sexual harassment. For her performance, Franklin received an Emmy nomination as well as two Golden Globe nods.

Franklin enjoyed a long, successful career on stage and screen, with her 1970 Broadway debut "Applause" receiving a Tony nomination. She then appeared on "Gidget," "Man From U.N.C.L.E," "The Munsters" and "The Love Boat."

When "One Day at a Time" ended after nine years, Franklin made sporadic television appearances. She reunited with TV daughter Bertinelli on "Hot in Cleveland," and her most recent role was on the soap "The Young and the Restless."

It was only last September that Franklin first revealed she had pancreatic cancer.

View Comments