Bonnie Franklin ushered in a new era of television with her flaming hair and vibrant personality. The star played single mother Ann Romano, raising two daughters in 1975 in the first sitcom that began to mirror the changing landscape of the American family. From 1975 to 1984, the hit sitcom One Day at a Time was one of television’s most popular shows.
In honor of the first modern television mother, here are 10 things to know about this Hollywood flame:
9. Franklin turned down an offer to be a Mouseketeer on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club, which went on to launch the careers of numerous stars.
8. Married twice, Franklin’s first husband was screenwriter Ronald Sossi. Her second husband was producer Martin Minoff. Franklin did not have children.
7. Franklin participated in nearly a dozen stage readings with the Classic and Contemporary American Playwrights, an organization that showcase little-seen works to mostly student audiences.
6. Prior to landing on One Day at a Time, Franklin had a recurring role on Gidget while she was still a college student.
5. Throughout the 1960s, Franklin had guest roles on hits such as The Munsters, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.
4. Franklin said the producers on One Day at a Time were resistant to hearing her woman’s point of view on how Ann Romano might handle a situation, even after the show had been successful for several years.
3. Just four years out of college, Franklin was nominated for a Tony for her “10-minute song-and-dance performance” as a chorus gypsy in 1970’s “Applause” on Broadway, which starred Lauren Bacall.
2. Franklin’s role as the star of One Day at a Time didn’t stop there. She directed two episodes and was nominated for an Emmy and two Golden Globes for her role.
1. Ms. Ann Romano is seen as America’s first modern mother on television. Franklin pushed to keep One Day at a Time as realistic as possible, helping bring issues like premarital sex, rape, sexual harassment, and child abandonment to American audiences.
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