Marilyn Shapiro, theater and television producer and long-time manager and business partner to actress Bonnie Franklin, died July 20 in Los Angeles after a long struggle with kidney disease. She was 77.
Shapiro was born in New York City. She was one of the youngest off-Broadway producers, held various production jobs and got into casting for stage as well as reality television series. She turned to talent management starting with 1960s comedy actJack Colvin & Yvonne Wilder. In 1968, she discovered Broadway ingenue Bonnie Franklin and has steered her career ever since, from her Tony-nominated role in Applause to her starring role in Norman Lear’s “One Day at a Time” to the present.
In the 1980s, Shapiro and Franklin formed Poolhouse Productions, producing several television projects (including “Your Place or Mine,” “Sister Margaret and the Saturday Night Ladies” and “Bonnie and the Frankins”) as well as Franklin’s cabaret act.
The duo co-founded Classic and Contemporary American Plays, which produces staged concert readings of plays by great American playwrights for students in the greater Los Angeles area.