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News broke on Friday that Bonnie Franklin — the energetic redhead who starred on CBS sitcom One Day at a Time from 1975 to 1984 — had died of pancreatic cancer. Her tenure playing Ann Romano, a divorced mother raising two teenage girls in Indianapolis, is what put the one-time Broadway star on the map.
But unlike other well known actresses of the era (Farrah Fawcett and Mary Tyler Moore come to mind), Franklin was never considered a fashion trendsetter. Her costumes on the show were cute — think velour sweatshirts, high waist jeans and simple turtlenecks standard of a cooler-than-average, late-1970s Midwestern mom. Occasionally viewers caught Ann in a disco-worthy polyester halter dress or printed tunic that would make modern vintage fanatics swoon. And Franklin’s off-screen style appeared no different, with burnt velvet easy dresses, button down blouses and a bevy of blazers being staples at both awards shows and in everyday life.
But in 1985, Franklin performed on ABC’s epic, hours-long Night of 100 Stars II variety show. And she did it wearing a red, sequined V-neck dress that — even next to a gold lame-clad Ann-Margaret — stood out. It’s a style that wasn’t dissimilar from the sea of sequins we saw at this year’s Oscars, where Meryl Streep wore a silvery Lanvin number that was almost identical in cut.
Though it is her blazing bowl cut that will likely be Franklin’s most prominent aesthetic legacy, the above red dress is a nice reminder of her spunky spirit, too.
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