Legendary Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead At 75


Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Legendary actress, director Penny Marshall died at her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes. She was 75.

A spokesperson for Marshall confirmed Tuesday to the New York Post the actress — probably best known for her breakout role on ABCs hit 70s/80s sitcom “Laverne & Shirley” alongside Cindy Williams — passed away Monday night.

“Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” the family explained in a statement. “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. We hope her life continues to inspire others.” (RELATED: SpongeBob SquarePants Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dead At 57)

Penny Marshall arrives at the 2005 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Mortons in West Hollywood February 27, 2005. REUTERS/ Kimberly White

She had reportedly been dealing with multiple health issues off and on for the last decade after being diagnosed with lung cancer that spread to her brain in 2009.

Marshall later in life took her skills and started working behind the scenes, making one hit movie after another with such all-time successes. Such films include the coming of age fantasy classic “Big” in 1988, the 1992 female baseball story “A League Of Their Own” with all-star cast members like Tom Hanks, Rosie ODonnell and Geena Davis, and “Awakenings” in 1990 with the late Robin Williams.

She also became the first female director in Hollywood history to have a movie gross more than $100 million at the box office with “Big,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Most recently, she directed a documentary, currently in post-production, about former NBA star and diplomat Dennis Rodman. It is set to hit theaters Sept. 1.

Marshall is survived by her older sister Ronny, daughter Tracy Reiner, and three grandchildren, Spencer, Bella and Viva. Plans for a memorial service have yet to be announced.


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