Friday, March 01, 2013
For whatever reason ONE DAY AT A TIME has fallen between the syndication cracks. You don’t see the reruns very often. And it’s a shame because you’re missing a terrific comic actress. What Mary Tyler Moore did for single women in the ‘70s, Bonnie did for single moms. Her character handled the struggles of single parenting with grace and humor.
Especially humor. That was an era in which many sitcoms had very dramatic premises. And dealt with tough social issues. The comedy had to really come from character. Lines were funny because the actor delivering them had just the right attitude, just the right light touch. Bonnie was the best. Her timing, delivery, and comic sense was impeccable. And she brought such warmth and strength to the part that you didn’t just laugh, you cared. If you were a teenage girl during the years of ONE DAY AT A TIME you wanted Bonnie Franklin to be your mom, even if you loved your real mom.
I got the chance to direct her in an episode of ALMOST PERFECT and marveled at how much extra she brought to her role and how effortless she made it seem. She was the consummate professional. A writer and a director's dream.
She also sang, danced, was nominated for a Tony, appeared in movies, plays, and was very active in educational programs and local theater companies. She will be greatly missed.
I hope some cable channel does a ONE DAY AT A TIME marathon. Bonnie Franklin deserves a hallowed spot in television history. She already has one in my heart.
By Ken Levine at 2:57 PM