Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead At 75

Tanya Cunningham
December 20, 2018

Penny Marshall, who co-starred in USA comedy show Laverne & Shirley before becoming a successful Hollywood director, has died at 75.

Marshall died of complications of diabetes at her home in Hollywood Hills, California, her publicist, Michelle Bega said.

Penny Marshall, who died on December 17 at age 75, may have played a charming underachiever on TV.

Following a number of guest roles, she landed a one-episode role on Happy Days (which Garry created) as Laverne, a Milwaukee brewery worker who, along with colleague Shirley (Cindy Williams), goes on a double date with Fonzie and Richie Cunningham. She transitioned and became a great director and made unbelievable movies that people don't forget - like "Big" and 'A League of Their Own, ' so two very different careers - and successful in both.

Marshall noted that the starring role in Big nearly went to tough-guy actor Robert De Niro, who she would later direct in Awakenings (1990), also starring Robin Williams. Not only was the film a hit with viewers, but it became a substantial financial success as well. Her first real name recognition came with a recurring part as a put upon secretary "nobody" ever called attractive on "The Odd Couple". Laverne's passing is definitely a sad thing for me. To the Academy's shame, Marshall was not nominated for Best Director.


Marshall's family hailed her contribution to the entertainment industry in its statement, saying, "As an actress, her work on "Laverne & Shirley" broke ground featuring blue-collar women entertaining America in prime time. Happy that it was set here, and that's why that link is always gonna be here for her", said Salomone. She was 75 years old. In 2009, she had lung cancer that metastasized on her brain but told Fox News in 2012, "I'm fine now". I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. "She knew comedy. She was very amusing".

Hallin appeared on a 2015 episode of "Celebrity Family Feud", playing on a team with her brother, Garry Marshall, sister, Penny Marshall, niece, Tracy Reiner, and nephew, Scott Marshall. Goodbye Penny, we will miss you.

The first film she directed was Jumpin' Jack Flash in 1986, which featured a cover of the hit Rolling Stones song of the same name performed by the late Aretha Franklin. "I will be forever grateful to her for letting me be a part of A League of Their Own". Sitting on a sit-com set 40 years later, thinking about milk & pepsi, rodeo-doh-doh-doh & so many of her brilliant moments. "May she Rest in Peace", Robert DeNiro tells ET Canada about Marshall's passing. "Penny was a girl from the Bronx who came out West, put a cursive "L" on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story".

Kaprall says even though Marshall and Williams had reputations for being hard to work with, he'll remember Marshall as a gifted physical comedian who made her mark. "Tough as nails. She could play round ball with the best of them".

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