Penny Marshall dead at 75
Schlemiel, schlimazel, no more, as Laverne DeFazio has gone to the big brewery in the sky.
Actress/Director Penny Marshall passed away yesterday at her Hollywood home, due to complications from diabetes, according to Marshall’s publicist. She was 75.
Marshall rose to fame as Laverne in the sitcom Laverne & Shirley, alongside Cindy Williams, before going on to a very successful career directing movies and tv. The Tom Hanks-starring Big made Marshall the first woman to direct a film that made more than $100m at the US box office, and she smashed it again a few years later with 1992’s A League of Their Own. Can you imagine anyone else but the tough New Yorker wrangling that cast?
Marshall’s other works as director include Jumpin’ Jack Flash with Whoopi Goldberg and Awakenings, starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. She also produced television; we will leave her involvement in According to Jim out of this.
She took a pause in 2012 to write a wonderfully funny and honest autobiography, My Mother Was Nuts, recounting what sounded like a fantastic Bronx childhood being Carole Penny Marshall in a house full of entertainers. Marshall’s brother, writer/director Garry, later helped her start her Hollywood career, and her sister Ronny, was a casting agent. The book is a great read, full of tales from various film sets and a great one about being burgled in the Hollywood Hills.
Penny Marshall is survived by her daughter Tracy Reiner, and five grandchildren. She also leaves a legacy for female directors – big shoes to fill.
Let’s hope Carrie Fisher has a warm welcome prepared for her friend up in Heaven.
main photo courtesy of Reuters
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.