A divorced mother, her two teenage daughters, and a kooky building superintendent are all trying to make ends meet in an Indianapolis apartment complex. What could go wrong? This is the premise of “One Day at a Time,” the hilarious sitcom that ran from 1975 to 1984. If you grew up watching this show, you are well aware of the classic struggles of the mother, Ann, her two daughters, Barbara and Julie, and the glue that held them all together, their wacky friend and building supervisor, Schneider.
This was a beloved sitcom in the late 70s and early 80s, but what happened to the cast? There are some interesting stories here, that you definitely don’t want to miss.
Bonnie Franklin…as Ann Romano
If you are like most people who watched “One Day at a Time,” you probably really connected with the plight of the single mother, Ann, who was played by Bonnie Franklin. Though she is most well-known for her role in “One Day at a Time,” Franklin was no stranger to Hollywood.
She joined show biz when she was a young child, and by the time she was just nine years old, began performing with Donald O’Connor, who was best known for his roles in “Singin’ in the Rain,” and “The Colgate Comedy Hour.“ In total, she starred in more than 30 television shows.
Following her stint on “One Day at a Time,” Bonnie Franklin appeared in a number of other well-known series, including “Touched by an Angel,” and “Hot in Cleveland,” which also starred her “One Day at a Time” costar, Valerie Bertinelli. She and Bertinelli would remain close friends until Franklin’s death of pancreatic cancer in 2013.
Hollywood was part of Bonnie Franklin throughout her life, and she continued to work almost until the end, starring as Sister Celeste in “The Young and the Restless in 2012.”
Keep reading to find out what personal story overshadowed Mackenzie Phillips’ acting career.
Mackenzie Phillips…as Julie Cooper
By the time Mackenzie Phillips was added to the cast of “One Day at a Time” as Julie Cooper, the oldest of Ann Romano’s two daughters, she was already well-known in Hollywood. She had starred in “American Graffiti” in 1973, and she was the daughter of John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas.
As you know, however, for many child actors, fame comes at a price, and Mackenzie Phillips was no exception. She was pushed into the spotlight when “One Day at a Time” became a hit, but she had a lot of demons which she tried to hide with cocaine and alcohol use. In fact, this habit caused Phillips to be fired from the series in 1980.
Even after she was fired from “One Day at a Time,” Mackenzie Phillips still dabbled with drugs and alcohol, eventually going to rehab several times. It wasn’t until 2008 when she was arrested for cocaine possession did Phillips get serious about her recovery. She was successful with rehab and wrote a memoir about her life, which included a scandalous secret that shocked the world.
During an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Phillips claimed that she and her father, John Phillips, had a consensual sexual relationship for many years. This claim tore her family apart, with some members supporting her and others claiming it never happened.
Could Valerie Bertinelli have a chance to be the Queen of England? Keep reading to find out.
Valerie Bertinelli…as Barbara Cooper
Valerie Bertinelli’s early life was spent as the only child of an automotive executive, and his wife, who was a descendant of King Edward I of England. Her father was transferred around the country for several years before finally settling in the Van Nuys, CA area. It was here, where a star was born.
Bertinelli became friends with a young girl whose father worked in Hollywood as a producer, and she soon fell in love with the idea of working in the industry. She enrolled in the Tami Lynn School of Artists, and tried out for the role of Barbara Cooper, her first acting gig besides a commercial for J.C. Penny.
Valerie Bertinelli never fell into the child star trap that her on-screen sister did, and she remained lovable and cherished by her fans throughout her career. After “One Day at a Time,” Bertinelli took on other roles, including Sydney Kells, in the short-lived sitcom, “Sydney,” and as Gloria in “Touched by an Angel.”
She didn’t find great stardom again, however, until 2010 when she got the role of Melanie on “Hot in Cleveland.” Bertinelli has had steady acting work, and continued to be well known across the country thanks to her marriage to rock star, Eddie Van Halen. They were divorced in 2007.
Does acting run in Pat Harrington Jr.’s family? Find out whose footsteps he followed in…
Pat Harrington Jr….as Schneider
In every successful series, there is always a foil to the star, and in this case, Pat Harrington Jr. played Schneider, the foil to Franklin’s Ann Romano. Acting definitely ran in Harrington Jr.’s family, as his father, Pat Harrington Sr., was a film and TV star in the 1950s. Harrington Jr.’s son, Michael Harrington, is also an actor.
Pat Harrington Jr. was quite accomplished in Hollywood before being cast as the advice-giving superintendent on “One Day at a Time,” and up until then, was best known for his roles on “Make Room for Daddy,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” and “Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law.” He is, of course, best known for his role as Schneider on “One Day at a Time.”
Harrington Jr. was a very serious actor, but he was also an accomplished scholar, which is often not found in Hollywood. In addition to his Golden Globe, which he won for his acting ability, he also held a Master’s degree in political philosophy. He enjoyed a long, illustrious career, ultimately passing away in 2016 from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Glenn Scarpelli’s father was not a famous actor, but he was famous for something…what was it? Read on!
Glenn Scarpelli…as Alex Handris
If you have ever seen “One Day at a Time,” you know that eventually the girls get older, and the show needed a change of direction. Enter Alex Handris, who was played by Glenn Scarpelli. Alex was the son of Ann Romano’s boyfriend, Nick, and after Nick tragically passes away, Ann continues to raise Alex.
The son of Henry Scarpelli, best known as the artist for the Archie comic book series, Glenn Scarpelli had a few roles before he starred as Alex, but none of these roles made him a household name like “One Day at a Time.”
After playing Alex for several seasons, Scarpelli attempted to continue his career as an actor, but never found the same success. He was in a few episodes of “The Love Boat,” and he starred in an ABC Afterschool special. Scarpelli remains extremely close with his “One Day at a Time” cast mate, Valerie Bertinelli, and moved to Sedona, AZ to open a television studio with his then, husband, Jude Belanger.
Though he is now divorced, he still runs the studio.
Boyd Gaines has achieved a very unusual feat in the entertainment world. What is it? Keep Reading.
Boyd Gaines…as Mark Royer
Boyd Gaines came to “One Day at a Time” late in the series, but it is still where most people recognize him from. Gaines played Mark Royer, Barbara’s boyfriend and eventual husband in the series.
However, those who have an eye for the theater know that Gaines is best known for being the first actor to ever be nominated in all four Tony categories that actors are eligible for, something extremely unusual.
Though Boyd Gaines is very comfortable on the Broadway stage, he never shied away from the Hollywood screen, either. Following his role on “One Day at a Time,” Gaines took on many other roles in television shows and movies including “Remington Steele,” “L.A. Law,” “Law & Order,” and “The Good Wife.” He credits his stardom to one simple thing…luck.
Michael Lembeck studied acting in the same class with several A-listers. Keep going to find out who.
Michael Lembeck…as Max Horvath
Today, Michael Lembeck is best known as a famous director, but he cut his teeth in Hollywood as an actor. He played Max Horvath, Julie’s husband, on “One Day at a Time” for three seasons, which is still his most well-known acting role.
Lembeck attended Beverly Hills High School and took an acting course with people such as Albert Brooks, Rob Reiner, and Richard Dreyfus.
In addition to starring on “One Day at a Time,” Michael Lembeck also starred in sitcoms such as “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “Barney Miller.” He also tried his hand on the stage, starring in the national tour of Grease with non-other than John Travolta, who was his roommate during the stint.
Lembeck is one of the most well respected directors in Hollywood, and he has an Emmy for his directing work on “Friends.”
Nanette Fabray had a very interesting plastic surgery procedure to improve her looks. What was it? Continue reading!
Nanette Fabray…as Katherine Romano
When you take a divorced single mom with two teen girls, she has to have a support system, right? In the case of Ann Romano, her support system was her mother, Katherine, who was played by Nanette Fabray. Nanette Fabray was a darling on stage and screen, a performer since she was a young child, and she shined on the musical comedy stage.
She is a well-known Hollywood legend, and one of the most interesting things about her is the cosmetic surgery she got to enlarge, not shrink, her schnoz.
Nanette Fabray was always known as an entertaining, highly energetic performer, and has been a staple in Hollywood for more than 50 years. Though she hasn’t acted since 1994, she still remains a humanitarian, especially for those who are handicapped. She was hearing impaired for much of her childhood and early adulthood, but was able to get surgery to improve her hearing later in life.
Acting runs through Fabray’s family, too, as she is the aunt of actress Shelley Fabares, who also appeared on “One Day at a Time.”
Shelley Fabares was serenaded by a famous singer in the 1950s, but who was it?
Shelley Fabares…as Francine Webster
If you were alive in the 1960s, you know that Shelley Fabares was a teen idol thanks to her role as Mary on “The Donna Reed Show.” Though that show catapulted her into her Hollywood career, she also starred in “One Day at a Time” with her aunt.
Before she even joined the cast of “The Donna Reed Show,” however, Fabares had already made a name for herself in Hollywood, and was even serenaded by Frank Sinatra on a television special.
Following her stretch on “One Day at a Time,” Shelley Fabares enjoyed a number of other well-known roles, including “The Love Boat,” “Coach,” and “Superman.”
Fabares continued to work until the late 1990s, and in 2000 was diagnosed with a near-fatal autoimmune condition, which forced her to undergo a liver transplant.
What cult film classic did Richard Masur star in? Think you know? Keep reading to find out.
Richard Masur…as David Kane
Richard Masur was part of the “One Day at a Time” cast from day one as David, Ann Romano’s boyfriend, but was written out during the second season. He did return, however, in the sixth season, as the same character. Masur is one of those actors that many people recognize, but might not know him by name, thanks to his versatile and wide-ranging roles.
Some of his most well-known include stints on “L.A. Law” and “Picket Fences,” as well as in the cult classic film, “The Thing.”
In the 1980s, Richard Masur made the move from actor to director, and he continues to do both. He also got into the political side of Hollywood, and served as the Screen Actors Guild President from 1995 to 1999.
Ron Rifkin has a very famous female best friend. Who is it? Read more to find out.
Ron Rifkin…as Nick Handris
If you have been following the list, you know that Alex, played by Glenn Scarpelli, was taken in by Ann Romano after the death of his father, Nick, who was played by Ron Rifkin. “One Day at a Time” was only one of the more than 100 roles that Ron Rifkin has starred in during his Hollywood career. Rifken started his career in 1966 on the television show, “Gidget,” and has been a part of stage and screen, ever since.
He has starred in other series, too, including “Alias,” “ER,” and “Sex and the City,” which he starred in with one of his best friends, Sarah Jessica Parker.
Ron Rikfin is a remarkable actor, and he is always recognized by fans. However, he is also often confused with his friend, Joel Grey, who also has worked with him over the years.
Rifkin has been married for more than 50 years, and has a birthday on Halloween.
Howard Hesseman’s real life job was very similar to what role? You will find out if you keep reading!
Howard Hesseman…as Sam Royer
Howard Hesseman was on a dozen episodes of “One Day at a Time,” and he played Sam, the father of Barbara’s husband, Mark, and eventually became Ann’s husband at the end of the series. Though Hesseman was only on “One Day at a Time” for a short time, his acting career has spanned decades.
He is best known for his roles on “Head of the Class” and “WKRP in Cincinnati,” which is ironic because before he became an actor, he was a radio D.J.
Throughout his career, and even in his personal life, Howard Hesseman has been an outsider and rebel. He even had a relationship with singer Janis Joplin in the 1960s, who was one of the leaders of the counter culture of the time.
He was also arrested for marijuana possession in 1966. Hesseman has been married three times, and has starred in more than 150 movies and television shows.
Which “One Day at a Time” actress is a Broadways and stage superstar? Click here to find out.
Mary Louise Wilson as Ginny Wrobliki
Fans of “One Day at a Time” will remember Mary Louise Wilson staring in the series as Ginny, Ann’s waitress friend. What you probably didn’t realize is that Wilson was hiding an extremely impressive talent as a stage actress. Though it’s true that she appeared on a few television shows before appearing on “One Day at a Time,” she really got her boost from appearing on this show.
After “One Day at a Time” opened some doors for Mary Louise Wilson, there was really no stopping her, both on the small screen and the stage. For her work, she won a number of awards including a Tony Award, several Drama Desk awards, and an Obie award. She also co- created a one woman show, called “Full Gallop,” which was a major award winner.
Mary Louise Wilson played a number of different roles, but which were the most surprising? Keep reading.
Following her time on “One Day at a Time,” she appeared in almost fifty television shows and films in addition to her time on and off Broadway. She was on a string of television movies, and then appeared on other television series including “Maude,” “Lou Grant,” and “Tales from the Darkside.” She also appeared in the series “The Thorns,” which aired for only one season.
At this point, she took on a number of surprising roles, including one in the horror film, “Pet Cemetery,” which was very different than anything else that she had done previously. She then has small roles on films, such as “She Devil” and “Green Card.” A few years later, she also appeared on “All My Children.” Today, Mary Louise Wilson is still running though theater circles and still acting. You can see her latest work on the Netflix series, “Orange is the New Black,” as Millie.
One actor from “One Day at a Time” had a very famous sitcom star as a mother. Who? Click here!
John Putch as Bob Morton
When you saw Bob Morton on “One Day at a Time,” you might not realize that he comes from a very famous sitcom-starring family. His mother was none other than Jean Stapleton, who played Edith Bunker on “All in the Family.” His father, too, was an actor, and both of his parents ran a theater in Pennsylvania, which is where Putch got his start in the business.
It’s no surprise that John Putch’s first television role was on “All in the Family,” and Norman Lear, the creator of “All in the Family,” remembered that John was great on that show, so when he needed to fill the part of Bob on “One Day at a Time,” he immediately contacted him. He appeared on “One Day at a Time” from 1976 to 1983, and then was cast as Sean Brody in the film, “Jaws – 3D.”
John Putch tried something new in Hollywood, and found a lot of success. What was it? Keep clicking!
Thanks to his acting skills, throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, John Putch had a string of movie and television roles. This includes “Family Ties,” “The Love Boat,” “21 Jump Street,” “Seinfeld,” and “Home Improvement.” Though he was quite successful as an actor, he had bigger dreams, and he decided to try something new…directing. By putting his eggs in more than one basket, this gave Putch some insurance that he could work even if the acting roles dried up.
John Putch made his directing debut in 1985 in “Waiting to Act” with Helen Hunt and Ed Begley, Jr. By the mid 1990s, he was almost exclusively directing television shows and worked on shows including “Scrubs,” “Ugly Betty,” and “Cougar Town.” He continues to direct television shows, today.
One of the “One Day at a Time” actors was one of the youngest commanders in the Navy. Guess. Click!
Joseph Campanella as Ed Cooper
Ed Cooper was the father of Julie and Barbara and the ex-husband of Ann on “One Day at a Time.” The part was played by Joseph Campanella, and though the part was meant to be a longer term role, audiences didn’t think that the two actors, Bonnie Franklin and Campanella, were believable as a couple…even an ex-couple, so Campanella only ended up being in the series on a handful of episodes.
Before joining the cast of “One Day at a Time,” Joseph Campanella already had more than two decades of acting experience under his belt. He began his career after earning a college degree and serving in the U.S. Navy, being one of the youngest naval commanders of all time. He started acting in the 1950s, and he has never looked back, appearing in almost 200 films and television shows.
In addition to acting, Joseph Campanella has used his voice. What has he done? Keep reading to find out.
Following “One Day at a Time,” Joseph Campanella went on to continue acting, and of course, he remained successful. He appeared on shows including “Quincey, M.E.,” “Mama’s Family,” “Dallas,” “The Golden Girls,” and “Melrose Place.” He also spent several years on “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Jonathan Young. He retired from acting in 2009.
In addition to all of this acting, Joseph Campanella also used his voice to find work. He performed the voice-overs for BMW for several years on their U.S. commercials, and after that, he worked as the spokesperson for Napa Auto Parts. He was also the narrator of a number of documentaries in the 1990s. He also did voices on “Spider Man: The Animated Series,” and narrated “Discover” on Disney. Today, Joseph Campanella is retired from acting and living quietly at the age of 92.
Which “One Day at a Time” actor got his big break almost immediately after he appeared on the show? Click!
Charles Siebert as Jerry Davenport
Part of the plot of “One Day at a Time” was Ann working to support her daughter’s following her divorce. She worked in an accounting firm, and Jerry Davenport was one of the partners. The part was played by Charles Siebert. Previous to working on “One Day at a Time,” Siebert was no stranger to Hollywood. He played a lot of small parts, but hadn’t yet been the star that he was hoping for. This changed in the months following the end of “One Day at a Time.”
In 1979, when he left “One Day at a Time,” Charles Siebert was cast on “Trapper John, MD,” which would be his big break. He played Dr. Stanley Riverside from 1979 to 1986, and then he played the same part on “The Love Boat.”
Charles Siebert was a regular contributor to a certain type of show. What did he do? Keep reading!
After his success on “Trapper John, M.D.” and other programs, Charles Siebert had become a recognized television actor. He also was making waves on the stage, and thanks to him working towards his college degree in acting, he was well-prepared for all roles that came his way.
Following all of his network success, Charles Siebert also tried other genres that moved away from acting, specifically on game shows. He appeared on shows such as “Match Game,” “$25,000 Pyramid,” and “Super Password.” He also began directing, which he got into when appearing on “Trapper John.” In fact, he directed seven episodes of the series. Today, Siebert has retired from acting and he and his wife are enjoying their retirement in California’s famed wine country.
One guest star on “One Day at a Time” dated Valerie Bertinelli. Who is it? Read on to find out.
Scott Colomby as Cliff Randall
You might remember Cliff Randall as Barbara’s boyfriend on “One Day at a Time,” and the actor who played Cliff, Scott Colomby, dated Valerie Bertinelli in real life! Born and raised in Beverly Hills, Colomby grew up in the shadow of Hollywood, the son of a stage actress and jazz musician, so it is no surprise that he grew up to be an actor.
His first role on television was on “Days of Our Lives” at the age of 13, which opened the door for other roles, including those on “Room 22,” “Baretta,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.” He then appeared on “One Day at a Time” for six episodes. It was then, of course, that he met Bertinelli, and the two became a couple.
After “One Day at a Time,” Scott would make the switch to film. What was he in? Read on.
In 1978, after his job on “One Day at a Time” was over, Scott Colomby was once again, looking for work. He was cast in a couple of roles, but it wasn’t until 1980 that big things began to happen for Coloby. He would be cast in two films: “Caddyshack” and “Porky’s,” and these films would make Coloby one of the most recognizable actors in the 1980s.
He followed up his film success with more roles on television, and he appeared in shows such as “Fame,” “St. Elsewhere,” and “The A-Team.” However, as the 1990s moved in and some of the boyish good looks Colomby had began to disappear, he found that it was more difficult to get roles. Instead of opting for cosmetic surgery to keep his looks, he chose to age gracefully. He hasn’t acted much since the 1990s, but instead founded the Big Elvin & The Professors’ Blues Theater, which he still focuses on, today.
One “One Day at a Time” actor got a love of acting when in the Air Force. Who? Keep reading.
John Hillerman as Mr. Connors
Mr. Connors was Ann’s boss on “One Day at a Time,” and the role was played by John Hillerman. By the time Hillerman was on “One Day at a Time,” he was a fairly well-known actor. He got a love for acting when he was serving in the Air Force, and when he left the service, he made his way to New York City, where he studied the art of acting at the American Theatre Wing.
John Hillerman worked on Broadway for about a decade, and didn’t make it to Hollywood until 1970, when he made his film debut in “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” He worked in films for several years, and by 1974, he started appearing on the small screen.
John Hillerman’s British accent was so convincing, that a VIP actually believed it was real. Who? Read on.
John Hillerman appeared on and off on “One Day at a Time” until 1980, and he then got the role he is best known for, Higgins on “Magnun P.I.” This character was British, and thanks to his excellent skills with the accent, many people believed that Hillerman was from the UK. In fact, a British Lord one time sent him a letter stating that Hillerman was a “credit to the Empire.” Oops!
The other major role that John Hillerman appeared in was as Lloyd Hogan, on “Valerie’s Family: The Hogan’s.” He did that from 1990 to 1991, and then appeared on “Murder, She Wrote” in 1992. After that, he retired from acting with only a couple of roles added to his repertoire. These days, Hillerman is fully retired and living in Texas.
One actor from “One Day at a Time” had a gross breakfast regiment. What was it? Read on.
Jim Hutton as Dr. Paul Curran
You probably remember Dr. Paul Curran as a character that appeared during one of the more scandalous storylines of “One Day at a Time.” Do you remember when Julie dated the WAY older man? That was Dr. Paul Curran, and he was played by Jim Hutton.
Now, if you remember this, you know that Paul was much older than Julie, and even comparing the actor ages, you would get that Mackenzie Phillips (and her character) was 18, and Jim Hutton was 43. Talk about robbing the cradle! Perhaps Hutton stayed so young looking thanks to his favorite breakfast. It was a mixture of egg yolks, wheat germ, almonds, honey, and raw milk. That doesn’t sound too bad, but he made it each night and left it out, allowing it to ferment before drinking it the next day. Gross.
Sadly, Jim Hutton passed away tragically soon after appearing on “One Day at a Time.” Read on to learn why.
Jim Hutton’s appearance on “One Day at a Time” was one of his final ones. He was fresh off of his series, “Ellery Queen,” and at the pinnacle of success. He began to feel tired and had back pain, in addition to respiratory troubles. He was diagnosed as having liver cancer, which was now affecting his lungs, and he was given only six months to live. He tried chemotherapy, but was only at it for eight weeks when he passed away. He had just turned 45 three days before.
Though Jim Hutton’s life was short, it was quite fruitful. He starred in almost 50 films and television shows, and he had three children, including actor Timothy Hutton, who you might know from the show “American Crime,” which is airing currently on ABC.
Which “One Day at a Time” actress starred in a scandalous episode of “All in the Family?” Guess and click.
K Callan as Alice Butterfield
Julie and Barbara had several boyfriends on “One Day at a Time,” so it’s hard to remember who was who. One of Julie’s boyfriends, Chuck, might stand out, though. He was the one who put on the pressure for her to lose her virginity. His mother, Alice, was also part of this storyline, and the character was played by K Callan.
Though this storyline was seen as a bit controversial, K Callan was no stranger to playing controversial characters on sitcoms. Soon after she appeared on “One Day at a Time,” she also on a very controversial episode of “All in the Family.” In this case, she appeared as Edith’s cousin’s lesbian lover, which was just a bit too much for some television audiences in the 1970s. However, she has said that it was one of her favorite parts to play.
In addition to acting, K Callan is also a writer. Do you know what she writes? Read on!
K Callan is a well-known character actor, and it often seems that she is never quite out of work. She has appeared in more than 130 films and television shows, and she continues to act to this day. Though you might not recognize her name, she is one of those actresses that most people know and recognize, especially because she has been in so many popular shows. For example, she was in shows from the 1980s, such as “Remington Steele,” “Night Court,” and “Quantum Leap.” She was also in many shows throughout the 1990s, including “NYPD Blue,” “Chicago Hope,” and “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” which she is quite well known for.
In addition to her acting, K Callan is also a writer. But, she doesn’t quite write traditional books. What does she write? She writes Hollywood reference books, such as “The Script is Finished, Now What do I Do?” and “How to Sell Yourself as an Actor.” Her latest acting work has been on the award-winning show, “Veep,” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.