Actress and director, Penny Marshall has passed away at the age of 75 due to complications from diabetes.
- The Los Angeles Times reports that Penny Marshall passed away peacefully at her home due to complications from diabetes. She was 75.
- Marshall made a name for herself starring as Laverne De Fazio opposite Cindy Williams on ABC’s Laverne and Shirley. She also played the character on Happy Days and Mork and Mindy.
- Marshall first appeared on television on The Jackie Gleason Show in an uncredited role as a dancer. She went on to makes dozens of appearances in shows like The Odd Couple (created by late brother Garry Marshall), as well as television movies.
- She even had a role on The Magical World of Disney in the two-part episode, The Wacky Zoo of Morgan City.
- Sharp-eyed fans might recognize her in the uncredited role of The Master’s Wife from Disney’s cult classic Hocus Pocus.
- Marshall would later move behind the camera to direct acclaimed feature films including:
- A League of Their Own
- The Preacher’s Wife
- Riding in Cars With Boys
- In fact, Big, starring Tom Hanks, made her the first female director in Hollywood history to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million.
- The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger shared his condolences on Twitter:
In their words:
- Penny Marshall to The Times in 1988: “I’m sure people thought I got parts because my brother was being nice, and at first I probably thought the same thing. “But my brother finally told me, ‘I’m not giving you a job ’cause I’m nice. I’m not that nice.’”
- Marshall in a 1988 interview with The Times: “I was born with a frown. I always feel like somehow I’m going to be a failure. I’m from the negativity and depression school. When I see bad reviews, I say, ‘Yeah, they’re probably right.’
- Marshall on helming a project (1988): “With directing, I know people on movie sets want leadership, but I don’t exude that captain-of-the-ship image. I’d get on the phone with [‘Big’ producer] Jim Brooks and apologize all the time and say, ‘I’m no good at this.’”
- Brooks in response to Marshall: “Penny has an iron will, which is a thing that almost everybody misses. You can’t do the job she’s done and have it be dictated by insecurities. Penny has great creative instincts and a real openness to the creative process. She would talk to her actors very honestly and I think that made her actors trust her.”
Marshall is survived by her daughter Tracy Reiner, three grandchildren, and sister her Ronny. Plans for a memorial service have yet to be made.