Penny Marshall, 'Laverne and Shirley' star, dead at 75

Penny Marshall directed Big and A League of Their Own

"She passed away from complications from diabetes".

In 1988, she became the first woman in Hollywood history to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million at the box office with Big. If it isn't A League of Their Own, it's Big or Riding in Cars With Boys. He created Laverne & Shirley. Marshall's world-wise Laverne was the flawless foil for the sweet and naive Shirley Feeney played by Cindy Williams.

The news of Penny Marshall's death was jolting, not just for its suddenness, but for the realization that we lost a bona fide Bronx-born talent so rare that she conquered television and the movies alike - no mean feat in the fickle world of show business. She died Monday at the age of 75.

Her brother Garry Marshall, the co-creator of Happy Days, died in 2016. The script was co-written by Gary Ross and Steven Spielberg's sister Anna, and Spielberg was the original director signed up for the project, intending for Harrison Ford to play the role of Josh.

Marshall reunited with Hanks on 1992's A League of Their Own. I was very fortunate to spend time with her. "I thought it was something I should do".

Penny Marshall attends an event on November 7, 2008, in New York City.

Marshall and Laverne & Shirley co-star Cindy Williams have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Image Marshall and Laverne & Shirley co-star Cindy Williams have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The show became an instant ratings-grabber, running from 1976-83 before its cancellation. In between she appeared in the pilot for Mork & Mindy, the Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour and the short-lived cartoon Laverne & Shirley in the Army. Other items included modern-era National Basketball Association jerseys, with a Michael Jordan jersey she owned selling for more than $52,000, the report said. Her next film, the Robin Williams and Robert De Niro-starring medical drama Awakenings, earned three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for De Niro.

Geena Davis as Dottie in "A League of Their Own".

Penny Marshall was married to Michael Henry for two years in the 1960s and to actor and director Rob Reiner from 1971-1981. During the 1970s, she and second husband Rob Reiner, then a star of TV's All in the Family, were the de facto first couple of primetime.

The New York native was also a die-hard fan of the New York Knicks, seen often in the crowd at Madison Square Garden, and a collector of sports memorabilia. They worked at a brewery (and horsed around) by day. When he finds the Zoltar machine and reverses the change, Susan realizes that he was a child throughout their relationship, and takes him home after declining to return to her own preteen years via Zoltar. "It was very romantic", she said.

In the late 2000s, Marshall, a heavy smoker, confirmed she'd been diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized to the brain.

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