Hollywood legend Penny Marshall died Monday night at her home in Hollywood Hills. She was 75. Her publicist, Michelle Bega, said Marshall died from complications of diabetes, according to The Associated Press.
Marshall excelled at virtually every level of the industry — early on as a comedian and actress and later as a director and producer. She exploded onto the scene in 1976 as one of the title characters on the hit ABC sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which ran for seven seasons. Years after starring as Laverne DiFazio, she discussed the iconic character in an interview, saying that Laverne “would not put up with crap” and “she was a realist.” Those qualities served Marshall well in real life too as she entered the next phase of her show business career.
Marshall, a bona fide trailblazer, went on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest directors. She was the first woman director to helm a movie that grossed $100 million at the box office with the 1988 comedy Big, a film that supercharged the career of Tom Hanks, who had the starring role. Movies like a A League of Their Own, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and the 1990 film Awakenings, which starred Robert DeNiro and was nominated for a best picture Oscar in 1991 cemented her as an industry heavyweight. In 2012, A League of Their Own, which also starred Hanks and told the story of an all-women’s baseball league that was established during the Second World War, was added to the National Film Registry.
Marshall was a huge basketball fan and a staple in the court side seats at Los Angeles Lakers games. After news of her death broke on Tuesday, tributes to Marshall poured in on social media and caused her name to rocket to the top of Twitter’s trending topics.
Goodbye, Penny. Man, did we laugh a lot! Wish we still could. Love you. Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) December 18, 2018
Thank you, Penny Marshall. For the trails you blazed. The laughs you gave. The hearts you warmed. pic.twitter.com/7qPKJa6ApH
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) December 18, 2018
The #HOF remembers actor/director Penny Marshall, who brought the @AAGPBL heroes to life through “A League of Their Own”. Marshall, who visited the Hall of Fame in 2002, passed away on Monday. Photo: Milo Stewart Jr. pic.twitter.com/XwOfBa21PA
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) December 18, 2018
Penny Marshall got her wings ???????????????????????? fly high “Laverne”, we love you so and thank you for all the laughs ????
— Dassine Lamb (@dleezy) December 18, 2018
Godspeed, Penny Marshall. pic.twitter.com/mYKGGK8Igk
— Gregg Hurwitz (@GreggHurwitz) December 18, 2018
????. We will be doing a ‘Schiemiel, schlimazel’ ceremony at the office in Penny Marshall’s honor. Growing up she was the ‘only’ female director to aspire to, did the big comedies and stood toe to toe w/ her loving sense of humor bringing heart felt joy. #RIP #comedy #respect pic.twitter.com/xNdPnbiZxv
— Melanie Lutz (@mobilemel) December 18, 2018
For more on the Marshall’s remarkable life and career, watch the video below.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.