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Bonnie Franklin Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (28)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (4)

Born in Santa Monica, California, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (pancreatic cancer)
Birth NameBonnie Gail Franklin
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Bonnie Franklin, of the freckled, fair-skinned, hazel-eyed, rosy-cheeked, carrot-haired variety, could light up a room with her buoyant, folksy personality, but she could be quite serious in a take-charge manner when it came to purposeful acting work. It took Norman Lear and a highly popular TV sitcom to finally make the 31-year-old performer a household star in the mid-1970s.

She was born Bonnie Gail Franklin in Santa Monica, California on January 6, 1944, the daughter of Samuel Benjamin, an investment banker, and Claire (née Hersch) Franklin, both of Jewish descent. She was thrust onto the stage at a very young age as a child tap dancer and became the protégé of consummate tapper Donald O'Connor. At age 9, she performed with O'Connor on NBC's The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950). A year later, she performed as one of the Cratchit daughters in the Shower of Stars (1954) TV version of "A Christmas Carol", starring Fredric March and Basil Rathbone as "Scrooge" and "Marley", respectively. The young girl then appeared, unbilled on film, playing sweet young things in the rural comedy, The Kettles in the Ozarks (1956), Alfred Hitchcock's The Wrong Man (1956) and the Sandra Dee/Troy Donahue's box office tearjerker, A Summer Place (1959).

At age 13, the family moved from Santa Monica to upper-scale Beverly Hills. Graduating from Beverly Hills High School in 1961, Bonnie studied at Smith College for a time where the freshman co-ed acted in an Amherst College production of "Good News". She then transferred to UCLA and majored in English. Following her studies, she returned to TV and appeared in lightweight comedies that welcomed her perky, pixie-like presence. These included mid-to-late 1960s episodes of Mr. Novak (1963), Gidget (1965), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964), Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1965) and The Munsters (1964). In 1967, she married Ronald Sossi, a playwright best-known for his writing/producing chores on the TV series, The Rat Patrol (1966). The marriage, however, was short-lived and ended in 1970.

It was on the musical stage that Bonnie found breakthrough success. Following diligent work in "Drat the Cat!" (1965), "Your Own Thing" (1968), "George M.!" (1969) and "Dames at Sea" (1969), she took her first Broadway curtain call in "Applause", the well-received 1970 musical version of All About Eve (1950), starring Lauren Bacall. Bonnie played a theater "gypsy", named "Bonnie", who sings and dances to the title song backed by her "band of gypsies". Bonnie won the Outer Critics and Theatre World awards and a 1970 Tony nomination for her effort here. She continued on the stage with prime roles in "A Thousand Clowns" (1971), the title role in "Peter Pan" (1973), and the revue "Oh, Coward!" (1975). It wasn't until Bonnie was handed the prime role of "Ann Romano", a divorced mom raising two daughters (Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli) on One Day at a Time (1975), did she become a viable star. Although her contagious cheerfulness and beaming smile was part of her value on the comedy show, Franklin desired to focus on taboo TV subjects such as divorce, birth control, sexual harassment and suicide, as well as getting laughs. While the program didn't match the ground-breaking importance or success of an All in the Family (1971), the show did command consistent and respectable ratings ("Top 20" for seven of its nine years) and lasted on CBS until 1984. Bonnie received one Emmy nomination and two Golden Globe nominations during the sitcom's run, and managed to find time to squeeze in a few other TV-movie projects as well -- A Guide for the Married Woman (1978), Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (1979), the title role in Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger (1980) and Your Place... or Mine (1983). Bonnie also directed episodes of One Day at a Time (1975), Karen's Song (1987) Charles in Charge (1984) and The Munsters Today (1987).

Following the show's demise, Bonnie seemed to keep a lower profile on camera, focusing instead on theatre roles and in several humanitarian efforts. Sporadic guest roles on Burke's Law (1994) (revived), Almost Perfect (1995) and Touched by an Angel (1994) was highlighted by a 2005 TV reunion with her One Day at a Time (1975) TV family, The One Day at a Time Reunion (2005). Her return to the theatre, after a break of 14 years, included roles in a variety of plays: "Happy Birthday and Other Humiliations" (1987), "Annie Get Your Gun" (1988) (as "Annie Oakley"), "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" (1988), "Love and Guilt and the Meaning of Life" (1990), "Grace & Glorie" (1996), "All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" (1997), "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1999), "Same Time, Next Year" (2000), "Dancing at Lughnasa" (2003), "A Touch of the Poet" (2005), "A Delicate Balance" (2007) and as crotchety "Ouisar" in "Steel Magnolias" (2011). In addition, she put together and toured in her own cabaret act and appeared in nearly a dozen staged readings with Los Angeles' Classic and Contemporary American Playwrights. Bonnie was a tireless activist for a variety of charities and civic-oriented issues, among them AIDS care and research and the Stroke Association of Southern California. More recently, Bonnie reunited with "One Day at a Time" daughter Valerie Bertinelli in a 2011 episode of Bertinelli's sitcom, Hot in Cleveland (2010), and, a year later, played a recurring nun in the daytime The Young and the Restless (1973). In September of 2012, Bonnie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died several months later on March 1, 2013. Her second husband of 29 years, TV/film producer Marvin Minoff, who produced Bonnie's TV movie, Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger (1980), as well as the film, Patch Adams (1998), died in 2009.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Marvin Minoff (31 August 1980 - 11 November 2009) ( his death)
Ronald Sossi (4 March 1967 - 15 February 1970) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (4)

Short red hair and blue eyes
Short stature
Deep sultry voice.
Her freckles.

Trivia (28)

Began acting as a child.
She once said that because of her red hair and freckles, fans have a hard time believing that she is Jewish.
She won a Theatre World Award and a Tony Award nomination in 1970 for the Broadway musical, "Applause".
She attended Beverly Hills High School, whose famous alumni included Michael Lembeck, Angelina Jolie, Michael Klesic, Nicolas Cage, Corbin Bernsen, Lenny Kravitz, David Schwimmer, Jonathan Silverman and Richard Dreyfuss.
Remained friends with her former co-stars from One Day at a Time (1975), until the time of her death.
She graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1961, and was admitted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
Her series, One Day at a Time (1975), was canceled at the end of the ninth season, because of low ratings and Franklin decided to leave the show.
Was the understudy for Sandy Duncan in the 1968 off-Broadway show, "Your Own Thing". She was often mistaken for Duncan at the time.
Second wife and widow of Marvin Minoff.
Has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer [September 24, 2012].
Acting mentor and friend of Valerie Bertinelli.
Her agent, for 15 years, was Robert Malcolm.
She was one of the two stars to have appeared in every episode of One Day at a Time (1975), with the exception of 1 in the last season.
Was reunited with ex-One Day at a Time (1975) co-star, Valerie Bertinelli on an episode of Hot in Cleveland (2010).
In 2001, she and her sister, Judy Franklin Bush, founded the nonprofit "Classic and Contemporary American Plays", an organization that introduces great American plays to inner-city schools' curriculum.
Is buried at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California beside her husband.
She was a staunch liberal Democrat.
Stepmother of Jed Minoff and Julie Minoff.
Her Acting Mentor was Actor Donald O'Connor.
Performing the role of "Gloria" in "Grace and Glorie", at the Helen Hayes Theatre in Nyack, NY. [March 1998]
Performing in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", at the Public Theater, Pittsburgh, PA. [March 1999]
Appeared in "Double Act", with Keir Dullea, at American State Festival, Milford, CT. [July 1998]
Appears in "Grace & Glorie" as Gloria, Ogunquit Playhouse, Ogunquit, Maine, USA. (through 19 July); Cape Cod Playhouse, Dennis, Massachusetts, USA. (21 July to 3 August). [July 1997]
Step-mother of Jef Minoff and Julie Minoff.
Long lives ran in her family.
One year after her own death, her mother, Claire Franklin, who lived to be 102, died on 7 June 2014.
Maternal Aunt of Shoshana Bush, Joshua Bush, Adam Bush, Dan Kupetz, and Rabbi Jonathan Kupetz,.
Her TV daughter Mackenzie Phillips named her pug dog Franklin after her TV mother.

Personal Quotes (6)

[In 2004, she reviewed clips from One Day at a Time (1975)] "When I looked at the tapes, I remember thinking how thin I looked. At the time, I was always saying, 'I need to lose weight, I need to lose 10 pounds'."
[as to whether she knew that One Day at a Time (1975) was going to be a hit or not]: As soon as we went on the air we started receiving a lot of letters. The letters were saying, 'This is my life. This is what I'm going through. This is what my mother is like.' And so we pretty quickly got the idea that we were touching something.
It's been pretty much 50-50 between the acting and the singing. The stuff I've done on stage has been so bloody exciting. The roles are just extraordinary. To play a person who is drunk, or angry, or English, or blind, to have that kind of stretch--when you're over 40, that's the exact time of the really great, meaty roles for women in theater. It's a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of that part of the business.
[re 'One Day' show, 1980:] I know it's just a television show, and I don't think that I am changing the way the world is structured [but] sometimes we strike chords that do make people think a bit.
[1981] I'm not working with insensitive men. 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, 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.
[On theatre acting] I started on the stage. That's where I'm comfortable. That's where I'm the most happiest. It's a totally different technique on film. I just know that (the stage) is where I'm able to do it best. And because of that, I'm happier in this thing.

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