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Penny Marshall, Star of 'Laverne & Shirley,' Dead at Age 75

Combined Shape

Penny Marshall, director and actress famously known for her role as “Laverne,” in “Laverne & Shirley,” has died.

Marshall was 75 years old.

Marshall’s publicist confirmed the actress died at her home in Hollywood Hills from diabetes-related complications, CBS News reported.

“Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” her family said in a statement.

Her family will remember Marshall as “a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family.”

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In addition to her beloved comedic role as Laverne DeFazio on the show, which ran from 1976 to 1983, Marshall was a brilliant film director.

She was the director of “Big,” starring Tom Hanks, a film that catapulted Marshall further into the spotlight as the first woman in history to direct a film that grossed over $100 million.

She directed the famed “A League of Their Own,” which also grossed over $100 million, as well as “Awakenings” and “The Preacher’s Wife.”

“As an actress, her work on ‘Laverne & Shirley’ broke ground featuring blue-collar women entertaining America in prime time,” Marshall’s family said.

“She was a comedic natural with a photographic memory and an instinct for slapstick.”

Marshall is survived by her older sister Ronny, her daughter Tracy Reiner, who played the feisty character “Betty,” in “A League of Their Own,” and her three grandchildren Spencer, Bella and Viva.

Celebrity tributes are pouring in for the beloved comedian, actress, author, director and friend.

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“Penny Marshall our first guest star and a great talent,” said “The Simpsons” writer Al Jean on Twitter. “You will be missed!”

“R.I.P. Penny Marshall,” wrote actor and director Albert Brooks. “So talented and funny. A big loss.”

“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.

“We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true.”

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Combined Shape
A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Birthplace
Page, Arizona
Education
Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Lifestyle & Human Interest




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