Penny Marshall, the nasally, good natured star of the late 1970s hit TV series Laverne & Shirley, whose later career as a director included the hit films Big and A League of Their Own, died peacefully Monday night at her California home. She was 75.
”She passed away from complications from diabetes.” -Penny Marshall’s publicist Michelle Bega
Marshall, who was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in 2009, but claimed it was in remission a few years later, was the younger sister of writer/director/producer Garry Marshall, who died in 2016 from a stroke. Garry Marshall had been an executive producer of The Odd Couple and created Happy Days and co-created its spin-off, Laverne & Shirley.
Marshall’s successful directorial debut in 1986’s Jumping’ Jack Flash led to 1990’s Awakenings, starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, which earned her the distinction of being the second woman ever to direct a best picture Oscar nominee. She achieved that without scoring a best director nomination.
Marshall’s ten-year marriage to actor/director Rob Reiner ended in 1981. She has one daughter from her first marriage and five grandchildren.
Penny Marshall’s last performances were as narrator in her brother Garry’s final 2016 film Mother’s Day and memorializing him in a special 2016 episode of the CBS reboot of the comedy series The Odd Couple.