Penny Marshall Dies at 75 in Hollywood Hills

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Penny Marshall 1976 Publicity Photo

Opening credits and theme song from Season 1 of the hit show “Laverne and Shirley” premiering on January 27, 1976.

Cheerful actress, comedian and director Penny Marshall, died Monday night, December 17, 2018 at her Hollywood Hills home from complications of diabetes.

Marshall’s greatest claim to fame was playing the part of Laverne Marie DeFazio in “Laverne & Shirley” along with characters Shirley Wilhelmina Feeney (Cindy Williams), Leonard “Lenny” Kosnowski (Michael McKean), Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman (David Lander), Frank DeFazio (Phil Foster), Carmine Ragusa (Eddie Mekka),

Laverne & Shirley became an instant top hit in 1976 and ran for 8 seasons as a spinoff following her appearance on “Happy Days” with Cindy Williams. Laverne & Shirley became America’s most watched television program by its third season, and was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award in 1979.

Penny Marshall’s first recurring role was playing Myrna Turner on “The Odd Couple,” which was directed by her brother.

In 1988, Penny Marshall directed Tom Hanks in “Big”. She became the first woman in history to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million. Penny also directed “A League of Their Own,” which filmed at Wrigley Field and “Awakenings” starring Robin Williams.

Statements from Penny’s family …

“Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall. Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family.”

“Penny gave Mark Wahlberg his first acting job in Renaissance Man.'”

“As an actress, her work on ‘Laverne & Shirley’ broke ground featuring blue-collar women entertaining America in primetime.”

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

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

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Penny Marshall 1976 Publicity Photo

Segment from Laverne & Shirley Season 3/Episode 15 — The Slow Child.

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