Iconic actress Penny Marshall dead at 75

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Cindy Williams as Shirley and Penny Marshall as Laverne in "Laverne & Shirley". From there she became the first female director to direct a film grossing more than $100 million with Big (1988) - a feat which she repeated with A League of Their Own (1992), which she also executive produced.

The series followed the lives of two best friends and roommates, Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeny, played by Marshall and Williams respectively, as they worked at Milwaukee bar Shotz Brewery before eventually moving to California to break into the movie industry. Marshall is survived by her sister Ronny, daughter Tracy Reiner and three grandchildren, Spencer, Bella and Viva. Beyond doubt she was able to excel at anything she put her world class mind & heart to and, lucky us, she picked comedy and films which celebrated humans.

Hanks delivered a great performance in the wistful comedy as a 12-year-old boy whose wish to become an adult is magically granted. To his surprise, that actually happens, but of course, he discovers that there are a great many downsides to being older. She also dated singer Art Garfunkel for five years. Really fun. People tend to love it.

God Bless Penny Marshall's extraordinary soul.


Big is one of those movies that really succeeded against all odds. Both of them eventually declined the project, and it was the producer James L. Brooks who then, in turn, offered it to Penny Marshall.

She began her directing career by helming episodes of TV series before landing her first feature-film directing job with the 1986 Whoopi Goldberg action-comedy "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Elizabeth Perkins would later state that she and Hanks were convinced the film would be forgotten.

Hallin also had several other roles in the TV business.

Big did not flop. She later moved behind the camera to become an acclaimed director, helming the hit movies "Big", "Awakenings", and "A League of Their Own".


Marshall's final film as a director was an as yet unreleased documentary about NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, and her resume over the last 35 years or so is dotted with acting roles of various sizes. If I could just trust my instincts, which I'm told are good, I'd be all right. "I will be forever grateful to her for letting me be a part of A League of Their Own", she said in a statement.

Marshall certainly did things her own way. "She knew what she was doing and you trusted her".

"She paved the way for so many women in television".

Comedy baseball movie A League Of Their Own was another critical and box office hit and was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry in 2012 for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". She was a divorced single mom in the 1960s before she made her way to Hollywood.


It was a flawless storm of TV symmetry with another unique angle that was "All in the Family" in more ways than one: Penny's marriage to Rob Reiner, who played Mike Stivic opposite Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) on the hit CBS sitcom.

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