Film director and TV star Penny Marshall dies aged 75

Film director and TV star Penny Marshall dies aged 75”

Before she went behind the camera, Marshall was best known for starring alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC sitcom series Laverne & Shirley.

After "Laverne & Shirley" ended, Marshall moved into a field that was relatively new to American women: directing.

Marshall was survived by her older sister, Ronny, her daughter, and three grandchildren.

"Like her brother Garry [creator of 'Happy Days"], Penny had a born instinct for amusing. She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it.

Penny Marshal left,l and Cindy Williams from the comedy series “Laverne & Shirley” appear at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Marshall died of complications from diabetes on Monday Dec. 17 2018 at her Holl

'Like Lucille Ball, she brought constant laughter to millions of people that will live forever, as an entertainer and communicator. "She will be missed!" he said in a statement.

More than any other films, "A League of Their Own" and "Big" ensured Marshall's stamp on the late "80s, early '90s".

Filmmaker Kevin Smith wrote about her influence as well. When asked why she thinks the series has continued to be popular with viewers, Marshall told FOX it was due to how relatable the premise was. "Man, did we laugh a lot! Love you. Hanx", he wrote.

She worked with Robin Williams, Robert DeNiro and Tom Hanks, that is wonderful.

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Big, the 1988 comedy starring Tom Hanks, became the first film directed by a woman to gross more than $US100 million at the U.S. box office. The 1992 women's baseball comedy A League of Their Own made her the first woman to direct two films topping US$100 million at the United States box office.

Billy Crystal weighed in: 'Sad to hear of Penny Marshall's passing. a great comedienne a terrific director and a dear friend'.

"I can't act that well, but I can sell a bit", she told The New Yorker in 2012 when promoting her memoir My Mother Was Nuts.

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

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Her own big break came in 1976, when she starred as the Laverne character in "Laverne & Shirley" (along with Cindy Williams as her roommate Shirley) for eight seasons.

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. "Neither a schlemiel, nor ever a schlimazel, she shall be missed by her many fans. So, there will no doubt be happier days in heaven, just as they made every day happy for us here on earth".

- Rob Reiner, who was married to Marshall from 1971 to 1981, via Twitter.

Actor James Wood said he was devastated by her passing.

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"She broke down the wall for women directors".

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