Bonnie Franklin

Sitcom role model

Mary Richards may have been history's prime sitcom heroine of the '70s, but Ann Romano, the divorced mother at the center of One Day at a Time, made simply keeping her family together a feminist act. And Bonnie Franklin--5 ft. 3 in., with a cigarette-lighter flame of red hair--was the embodiment of her feisty spirit. Her Romano wasn't an icon but an everywoman, who scrapped with the world (and sometimes with her kids, played by Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli), answering the bell and punching above her weight class. She could be adorable (bantering with Pat Harrington's Schneider), hard-assed (lowering the...

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