Penny Marshall, "Laverne & Shirley" Star, Dead At 75
By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter
December 18, 2018
Actress, comedian, director Penny Marshall has died at the age of 75, TMZ reports.
Marshall passed away peacefully Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home from complications from diabetes.
She rocketed to fame in the sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which became a monster hit for ABC in the 70's. Her portrayal of the tomboy Laverne DeFazio for eight seasons in the "Happy Days" spin-off won her critical acclaim. She went on to have a huge career directing many hit movies such as Big in 1988, A League of Their Own, (1993) and The Preacher's Wife (1996).
In a statement, Marshall's family said: "Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall. Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family."
Marshall also made history by becoming the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million at the box office.
She was born Oct. 15 1943 and grew on the Grand Concourse, a major thoroughfare located in the Bronx. After high school, she went to the University of New Mexico where she studied psychology. She landed in Los Angeles in 1967 where she supported herself as a secretary while appearing in commercials.
Marshall, the younger sister of late writer/director/producer Gerry Marshall and first wife of actor/director Rob Reiner, was also the second woman ever to direct a best picture Oscar nominee with "Awakenings".
Photo: Getty Images