"One Day at a Time" star Bonnie Franklin died this morning following a short illness  -- the 69-year-old actress had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer  just last September.

Over its near-decade run, Franklin became a big star, and a beloved one for millions of fans, and something of a proto-feminist too, insofar as she was a single-mom (divorced) raising two teen daughters without the assistance of a father or husband; this Norman Lear sitcom never, if memory serves, indicated her job was a breeze -- the title was, after all "One Day at a Time" -- even though Franklin was tough, funny and optimistic.

 Meanwhile, one her co-stars, Valerie Bertinelli, released this statement:  "My heart is breaking. Bonnie has always been one of the most important women in my life and was a second mother to me. "The years on One Day at a Time were some of the happiest of my life, and along with Pat [Harrington Jr.] and Mackenzie [Phillips] we were a family in every way. "She taught me how to navigate this business and life itself with grace and humor, and to always be true to yourself. I will miss her terribly."

Some clips... The first one will quickly re-orient you to this long-ago hit (1975-1984) but be sure to check out the second, which lays out the show's influence, as well as Franklin's...

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