Penny Marshall, Director and ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star, Dies at 75

Marshall also directed “Big” and “A League of Their Own”

Last Updated: December 18, 2018 @ 12:36 PM

Penny Marshall, the actress known for “Laverne & Shirley” and the director of Tom Hanks in “Big” and “A League of Their Own,” has died, her publicist tells TheWrap. She was 75.

Marshall died on Monday in her home in the Hollywood Hills from complications with diabetes.

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

Marshall, born Carole Penny Marshall, was a three-time Golden Globe nominee for her work on “Laverne & Shirley,” playing Laverne DeFazio for eight years on the show co-created by her brother, the late Garry Marshall. Upon directing Hanks in 1988’s “Big,” Marshall made history by becoming the first woman to direct a movie that grossed over $100 million at the box office.

She made her feature directorial debut in 1986 with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” starring Whoopi Goldberg. She would follow that up with “Big,” as well as the Best Picture-nominated “Awakenings” in 1990, and she then reunited with Hanks for the period sports movie “A League of Their Own,” which also grossed over $100 million.

Marshall started to gain attention as an actress in “The Odd Couple” and was cast by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns in “Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers.” She was then introduced as a character on “Happy Days,” and her role would eventually become a spinoff in “Laverne & Shirley.”

Marshall had a documentary about NBA star Dennis Rodman called “Rodman” in post-production that is set to be released on Sept. 1, 2019.

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