Actress Bonnie Franklin, best known for her portrayal of Ann in the TV show One Day At A Time, died at 69. From the New York Times:
“One Day at a Time” ran from December 1975 to May 1984, and its ratings ranked in the top 20 in eight of those seasons and in the top 10 in four. Ms. Franklin was nominated for an Emmy Award and twice for a Golden Globe.
The show’s topicality fell squarely in the tradition of its developer, Norman Lear, who had gained renown for introducing political and social commentary to situation comedy with “All in the Family” and other shows. Its co-creator was Whitney Blake, a former sitcom star who, as a single mother, had reared the future actress Meredith Baxter.
…As a divorced mother who had reverted to her maiden name and relocated to Indianapolis, Ann fought her deadbeat ex-husband for child support, for example. Or she dealt with a daughter deciding whether to remain a virgin.
Some story lines continued for up to four weeks, as when Julie, to Ann’s consternation, dated a man more than twice her age. In one plot twist Ann’s fiancé is killed by a drunken driver. Later she marries her son-in-law’s divorced father.
Comic relief came from the frequent visits of the building superintendent, Dwayne Schneider (Pat Harrington). But Ms. Franklin was said to have pushed the producers toward greater realism, urging them to take on issues like teenage pregnancy and avoid letting the show lapse into comic shtick.
In her 2009 memoir, “High on Arrival,” Ms. Phillips, who had come to the show after gaining notice in the 1973 George Lucas film “American Graffiti,” said that Ms. Franklin did not want “One Day at a Time” to be “sitcom fluff.” “She wanted it to deal honestly with the struggles and truths of raising two teenagers as a single mother,” Ms. Phillips wrote.
By the time the show ended in 1984, Ann’s daughters had grown and married; Ann herself had remarried and become a grandmother. In interviews. Ms. Franklin said she had refused to do anything that might diminish her character’s integrity. In particular, she said, it was important for Ann not to rely on a man to make decisions.
But each year she found herself fighting the same fights. “And I’m not working with insensitive men,” she told The Boston Globe in 1981. “But the men who produce and write the show still don’t believe me when I present them with the women’s point of view. “After seven years,” she continued, “I just want to say, ‘C’mon guys, I’m an intelligent person, why don’t you just trust me?’ I’m so tired of fighting. But you can’t give up.”