In September, 2012, it was announced that Franklin had an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer with a low survival rate. The actress had indicated that she would seek treatment, but her death within six months indicates that this was not successful.
Franklin first appeared on television as a child actress — her first credit was the part of Susan Cratchit in “Shower of Stars” in 1954. She worked steadily as a guest-starring actress on television shows over the following two decades before getting her big break in “One Day at a Time.” From 1975 until 1984, Franklin played single mom Ann Romano for more than 200 episodes of this sitcom about Ann and her two daughters, Barbara and Julie (played by Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips, respectively).
She earned one Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations for the part.
Following the cancellation of “One Day at a Time” in 1984, Franklin worked mainly in theater, performing in her own cabaret show and in regional theater. In 2011, the actress reunited with her one-time TV daughter, Valerie Bertinelli, for an episode of “Hot in Cleveland.”
The actress had been married to producer Marvin Minoff from 1980 until his death in 2009.