Penny Marshall dead at age 75
Comedian, actress and director Penny Marshall has died at age 75.
Mashall's publicist, Michelle Bega, said Marshall died in her Hollywood Hills, Calif., home on Monday due to complications from diabetes.
Marshall first gained fame in the 1970s for her role as Laverne DeFazio on ABC’s hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley.” Among her character’s trademarks was the cursive “L” on her clothing.
The show ran eight seasons from 1976 to 1983. In its third and fourth seasons, it was the No. 1 watched show on TV.
In the mid 1980s, Marshall made the transition to working behind the camera, directing films such as the 1988 hit “Big” with Tom Hanks, 1990’s “Awakenings,” with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, and “A League of Their Own,” with Geena Davis and Madonna.
With "Big," Marshall was the first female director with a film that grossed more than $100 million.
Marshall was treated for brain and lung cancer in 2009. She went into remission in 2012.
In a statement, the family said, "Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall. 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. We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true."
From 1971 to 1981, she was married to actor/director Rob Reiner. Her brother is actor/director/TV producer Garry Marshall.
She was born Carole Penny Marshall in the Bronx in New York on Oct. 15, 1943.
Her early work in television included roles on "That Girl," "The Odd Couple" and a guest appearance on "Happy Days" with Cindy Williams in 1975, which led to ABC to develop a spinoff of their characters.
Marshall's co-stars, who became close friends, shared their feelings on social media.
#RIPPennyMarshall She was funny & so smart. She made the transition from sitcom star to A List movie director with ease & had a major impact on both mediums. All that & always relaxed, funny & totally unpretentious. I was lucky to have known & worked with her. https://t.co/pf2kfIkCH4— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) December 18, 2018
Goodbye, Penny. Man, did we laugh a lot! Wish we still could. Love you. Hanx.— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) 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
Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at 724-226-4697, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CPastrickTrib.