Published: Thu, December 20, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

Penny Marshall Dies at 75

Penny Marshall Dies at 75

Sitcom actress and critically-acclaimed film director Penny Marshall has died at 75.

Marshall died of complications of diabetes Monday at her home in Hollywood Hills, Calif., publicist Michelle Bega said in a phone interview.

Laverne endured on television from 1975 to 1983, first on her brother Garry Marshall's show Happy Days and then on its spinoff Laverne & Shirley.

League was the first of several movies she made that featured women in lead roles, including The Preacher's Wife and Riding in Cars With Boys. Together, the pair brought in more than US$150 million worldwide with Big, making it the first film directed by a woman to cross US$100 million. "Hanks" reprimand from "A League of Their Own" - "There's no crying in baseball!" - remains quoted on baseball diamonds everywhere.

Marshall is survived by older sister Ronnie, her daughter, Tracy, and three grandchildren.

A few years of bit parts in films and on television followed, until her major break came in The Odd Couple: the sit-com adaptation of Neil Simon's play and film which her brother had developed for television. "I thought it was simply because Laverne and Shirley were poor and there were no poor people on TV, but there were plenty of them sitting at home and watching TV".

"Yesterday I held a Golden Gloves award from the 1930's, given to me by Penny Marshall".

Kaprall says the last time he saw Marshall was at an autograph signing in Chicago five years ago with Williams who remains his close friend. From there she became the first female director to direct a film grossing more than $100 million with Big (1988) - a feat which she repeated with A League of Their Own (1992), which she also executive produced.

Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead At 75

In this September 9, 1979 file photo, Penny Marshal, left, and Cindy Williams from the comedy series "Laverne & Shirley" appear at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.

Actor James Wood said he was devastated by her passing.

Marshall made history with her directing career as well.

"Her legacy really was one of a woman who touched every corner of Hollywood - TV, film, and both on screen and behind the camera", Lauren Zima, anchor of ET Live, told CBSN on Tuesday. After directing multiple TV episodes and the Whoopi Goldberg-starring Jumpin' Jack Flash, Marshall helmed the beloved comedy Big, starring Tom Hanks.

Gladiator actor Russell Crowe said: "Penny told me the story of Jim Braddock, which became the movie Cinderella Man. She knew comedy. She was very amusing".

Describing her upbringing, Marshall, who wrote a memoir titled "My Mother Was Nuts", once said, "you had to form a sense of humor or else you'd kill yourself". "May she Rest in Peace". Anson Williams, who played Potsie on the show, said in a statement, "Penny was as courageous as she was talented, and broke down the wall for women directors".

In 1995, Ronny Marshall reunited with her college sweetheart, Peter Babcock, after more than 42 years apart, according to an article in The Rock Island Dispatch-Argus. She had a daughter, Tracy, from her first marriage.

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