Famed actress, director Penny Marshall who co-starred in 'Laverne & Shirley' dies aged 75
Actress Penny Marshall, co-star of 'Laverne & Shirley' and director of 'Big' and 'A League of Their Own,' died at 75 due to diabetes complications
Actress Penny Marshall, who starred alongside Cindy Williams in the ABC comedy 'Laverne & Shirley', and moved on to become a successful director with beloved films such as 'Big' and 'A League of Their Own,' died Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home. She was 75 and the cause of her death was revealed to be complications from diabetes.
Marshall was the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million, besides being the first woman to direct two films that made more than $100 million. She was also only the second woman director to see her film Oscar-nominated for best picture.
'Laverne & Shirley' ran from 1976-1983 and became the number 3 show on television in 1975-76, number 2 in 1976-77, and number 1 in 1977-78 and 1978-79. Marshall played the role of outspoken tomboy Laverne DeFazio, which made her a famed actress in the late '70s. Her natural gift for comedy also helped earn her accolades, including three Golden Globe nominations.
No words can describe the lessons she taught me about being a woman, about courage, about tenacity. And always with an innate believe in the absurdity of this thing we call life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Penny. #rip #pennymarshall #big pic.twitter.com/euj8hTMA3H— Elizabeth Perkins (@Elizbethperkins) December 19, 2018
"Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall," the Marshall family said in a statement.
Marshall, whose real name was Carole Marshall, grew up in the Bronx with her famous producer and director brother, Garry Marshall, who directed hit movies including 'Pretty Woman' and 'The Princess Diaries' and died in 2016. Describing her upbringing, Marshall, penned a memoir titled 'My Mother Was Nuts.'
Celebrities took to Twitter to pass their condolences.
I was directed by #PennyMarshall when I was 9 years old on Jumping Jack Flash. She was the first female director I had ever worked with. She left a huge impression on me and I’m so grateful for her talent and example. ❤️— Kellie Martin (@Kellie_Martin) December 18, 2018
What an inspiring woman #PennyMarshall was. Funny, talented, kind and giving. Penny was so supportive of my career from the very beginning and I will always be so grateful. A wonderful actress, producer and director. She will be missed by so many. #RIPPennyMarshall pic.twitter.com/yCBQAXngz4— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) December 18, 2018
RIP 💔 #PennyMarshall. I’ll always remember one of my first jobs on TV as a kid in a @nbcsnl Christmas sketch w/ Penny & Whitney Houston. Fast forward to last year, I saved her dog Freckles from being hit by a car. Penny I loved your work, thanks for inspiring me all these years!— Ashley Tisdale (@ashleytisdale) December 19, 2018
I LOVED #PennyMarshall ! The first time I met her I spontaneously threw my arms around her and she didn’t mind a bit. She was so awesome!— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) December 19, 2018
A big “L” over my broken heart this morning to remember the late Penny Marshall: a brilliant comedian, writer and director with an impeccable eye for comedy stars and a Bronx bray for the ages. #PennyMarshall pic.twitter.com/A0C4PUyqtc— Virginia Trioli (@LaTrioli) December 18, 2018
Rest in peace, Penny. Such a wonderful, funny and talented lady. Without her support and encouragement, I would not be where I am today. She will be missed. 💔 #PennyMarshall pic.twitter.com/F9ksywXYuG— Mark Wahlberg (@markwahlberg) December 18, 2018
I’m just so sad to lose my friend #PennyMarshall.— Carole King (@Carole_King) December 18, 2018
Thank you Penny for everything you gave the world.
This song would not exist had Penny not asked me to write it for A League of Their Own. https://t.co/IssDEDrqWb
Penny Marshall was very nice to me when I was just starting as an actor.— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) December 18, 2018
Made me feel like I could do anything.
Cool Ass New Yorker.
Would call me on the phone and say “What’s Up Rapaport” & I always knew who it was.
Plus she was Mother Fucking Laverne!#PennyMarshall 👑👑 pic.twitter.com/gJLbCdvY2O