Advertisement

'Laverne & Shirley' star, filmmaker Penny Marshall dies at 75

By
Danielle Haynes
Actor and director Penny Marshall died Monday at the age of 75. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Actor and director Penny Marshall died Monday at the age of 75. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Penny Marshall, an actor and filmmaker whose career spanned five decades and included a titular role in Laverne & Shirley, died at her home in California, her publicist announced. She was 75.

Michelle Bega said Marshall died Monday night in Hollywood Hills.

Advertisement

"She passed away from complications from diabetes," she said in a statement to the New York Daily News.

Variety confirmed Marshall's death.

"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," her family said in a statement.

Marshall shot to fame in the 1970s with her role as Laverne DeFazio, which first debuted on Happy Days. Marshall and Cindy Williams, who played Shirley Feeney, got their own show in 1976, though the character returned in other ABC sitcoms, including Mork & Mindy and Blansky's Beauties.

Laverne & Shirley ran until 1983, and though Marshall had other roles in television and movies, she turned her attention to being behind the camera.

She directed four episodes of Laverne & Shirley before her first movie -- Jumpin' Jack Flash starring Whoopi Goldberg in 1986. Marshall worked twice with Tom Hanks, directing Big and A League of Their Own.

Advertisement

Big became the first film directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million -- it took in $151 million -- and earned Hanks an Oscar nomination. Awakenings, starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro in 1990, earned three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

Her most recent project, which is in post-production, is a documentary about Dennis Rodman titled Rodman.

Latest Headlines