Harrington had been guesting on TV shows for more than two decades — ranging from Make Room For Daddy and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to The Munsters and The Flying Nun — before landing the role that would define his career. Developed by Norman Lear, One Day At A Time starred Bonnie Franklin as a woman who is divorced after 17 years and suddenly finds herself raising her two teenage daughters (Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips). Moving back to her hometown of Indianapolis, Ann deals with the challenges and little victories while often dealing with Harrington’s Schneider, the wise-cracking building super who fancies himself a ladies’ man and always seems to offer unsolicited advice.
The concept of a sitcom about a single mom struggling to make ends meet was still controversial when it premiered in 1975, but the show was a hit. Despite bouncing around through numerous time slots and night, it ranked in the top 20 for all of its first eight seasons, including four top 10 finishes. The show ultimately aired more than 200 episodes over nine seasons, with Harrington, Franklin and Bertinelli being the only cast members to appear throughout its run. CBS also aired reruns of the show during daytime from 1979-82.
Harrington continued to land TV guest spots throughout the 1980s and into the 2010s, with stops at such staples as The Love Boat, She’s The Boss, Murder, She Wrote, The Golden Girls, Diagnosis Murder, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The King Of Queens. His final credit is a 2012 episode of Hot In Cleveland.
With the distinct tones of a native New Yorker, Harrington also did lots of voice-over work during his long career. He worked all 40 episodes of the Saturday morning series Captain Caveman And The Teen Angels (1977-80 ) and was William Shakesbear in the 1991 toon series Yo Yogi! Before that, he voiced the frustrated Inspector in the original 34 animated episodes of The Inspector. Created by Mirisch Films and DePatie-Freleng, the shorts later aired as part of the classic toon series The Pink Panther Show.