Penny Marshall, starred in ‘Laverne & Shirley,’ has died at 75

Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead At 75

Happy Days matriarch Marion Ross said, "Our dear sweet Penny has gone up to see Garry". Her popularity there led Garry to create the spin-off Laverne & Shirley, in which Laverne and her pal Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) were wise-cracking workers at the Shotz Brewery in Milwaukee.

Her family also confirmed the news in a statement: "Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall", the statement to TMZ read.

Though one of three kids born to a show biz family, Marshall's road to success was hardly a smooth or typical trip - starting in an apartment on the Grand Concourse where mum warmed the kids' clothes on the radiator in the winter. According to THR, she died from complications due to diabetes. Marshall died Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. She brought the world joy and laughter, and was a true force behind the camera as a producer and director.

Marshall noted that the starring role in Big nearly went to tough-guy actor Robert De Niro, who she would later direct in Awakenings (1990), also starring Robin Williams.

Marshall worked on commercials and had small roles on television before getting a recurring part on "The Odd Couple" in 1971.

The sitcom shared a certain DNA with The Mary Tyler Moore show, which preceded it by six years.

Penny Marshall and Tom Hanks on "Cable Vision" in 1981.

"Yes, I'm supposedly hot right now", she told the Washington Post in 1988, when fresh from the success of Big, she was indeed hot. "It's partly the way I talk, but I'm also good with business - going through my purse, looking for my glasses, lighting a cigarette".

Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead At 75
'Laverne & Shirley' actress Penny Marshall dead at 75

Carole Penny Marshall was born October 15, 1942, in the Bronx.

The show became an instant ratings-grabber, running from 1976-83 before its cancellation.

Don Most, who played Ralph, said, "So sad to hear about Penny's passing".

Awakenings, released in 1990, saw Marshall handed a dramatic plotline about a doctor (Robin Williams) who refuses to give up on a ward of comatose patients (among them, Robert De Niro).

A League of Their Own, with Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell and Hanks, is often celebrated as a feminist text. "Your movie A League of Their Own honored the women of the (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League) and inspired others to play baseball".

Marshall's family hailed her contribution to the entertainment industry in its statement, saying, "As an actress, her work on "Laverne & Shirley" broke ground featuring blue-collar women entertaining America in prime time". My heart goes out to Tracy Reiner and her family. The picture is filled with broad jokes and small ones, and Marshall navigated both deftly. As the New York Times reported in 1992, "She becomes irritated when asked whether directing League was a consciously feminist act".

Marshall and Williams reunited occasionally over the years, including a 2004 appearance for the joint unveiling of their Hollywood Walk of Fame stars. "I will miss her", he wrote on Twitter.

She was a finalist for the role of Gloria, daughter of the bigoted Archie Bunker on the successful sitcom All in the Family, but did not get the role.

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