TV's 'Laverne' and USA director Penny Marshall dies

Oscar Cross
December 19, 2018

"Yes she did [die]. peacefully at her Hollywood Hills home". The news of Marshall's passing was confirmed by her publicist Michelle Bega, who had this to say in a statement.

Penny was said to have been diagnosed with lung and brain cancer 2009, however evidently made a complete recovery. I was very fortunate to spend time with her. "I was lucky to have known & worked with her".

In "Laverne & Shirley", among television's biggest hits for much of its eight-season run between 1976-1983, the nasal-voiced, Bronx-born Marshall starred as Laverne DeFazio alongside Cindy Williams as a pair of blue-collar roommates toiling on the assembly line of a Milwaukee brewery.

But Marshall's legacy will long outlast many of her male peers, and we're truly grateful for the films she gifted to us. Further explaining how it made things tough on their relationship, he said that "she was Laverne and she was in the number one show". We were before our time.

Culture in general and comedy in particular sometimes seem to settle into clusters of people I admit that I think of as adjacent to each other. Outside of producing a few features and directing some episodes of TV, Penny mostly had small onscreen roles, including Garry's New Year's Eve and Mother's Day, before she turned to writing her memoir, My Mother Was Nuts, and living a comfortable life in New York City. She was the force behind critically acclaimed box office hits like "Big", "A League of Their Own", and "Awakenings".

TMZ: Actress Penny Marshall, known for TV’s ‘Laverne & Shirley,’ dead at 75

A League of Their Own was eventually chosen for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

"Big Bang Theory" star Mayim Bialik said she grew up wanting to be like Marshall. After high school she went to the University of New Mexico in 1961, but dropped out and had a daughter, Tracy, her only child, in a marriage that lasted just two years. After I saw myself in a "Love American Style" segment, I cried for three days. I talked to my brother. Joe Pesci offered to be the father. I wouldn't have a career without him.

'I said, "Mommy wants me to change my name".

Rob Reiner, her ex-husband of eight years, remembered his relationship with Marshall fondly, praising her gift for comedy and her natural amusing bone.


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