It has been reported that Penny Marshall, the star of ’70s sitcom Laverne & Shirley, has passed away at the age of 75.
TMZ reports that Marshall died on Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home from complications of diabetes. She was best-known for her role as Laverne DeFazio in Laverne & Shirley, as well as her successes in directing films such as Big with Tom Hanks, which grossed more than $100 million.
Carole Penny Marshall was born on October 15th, 1943. Both of her parents were involved in the creative arts. Her mother, Marjorie Irene was a tap dance teacher who ran the Marjorie Marshall Dance School. Her father, Anthony “Tony” Masciarelli, was a director and later producer of industrial films.
Marshall began her own career in the arts at the early age of three, taking tap dancing lessons at her mother’s tap dancing school. She would later go on to teach tap lessons at the same school. Surprising to many, she received her college degree in math and psychology.
Her very first break into the media industry was with her commercial for Head and Shoulders shampoo. She soon accepted an offer from her brother to appear in a movie that he wrote and produced called How Sweet It Is (1968). This would cause her to go onto other roles in movies such as The Savage Seven (1968) and, soon, become the executive producer of hit TV series, The Odd Couple.
The characters of Laverne & Shirley, who originally got their start on the hit sitcom Happy Days, would go on to be a large part of Marshall’s television and film history.
Marshall went on to direct films with big-name Hollywood celebrities such as Awakenings (1990) starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, A League of Their Own (1992) with Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, and The Preacher’s Wife (1996) starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.
She has been nominated for awards for her work over the course of almost five decades. She was nominated for several Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress and actually was the recipient of the TV Land Fan Favorite Award in 2012 for her performance in Laverne & Shirley. She was also the winner of the 1994 Muse Award for the New York Women in Film and Television.
We will always remember Penny Marshall in Laverne & Shirley and all the other work she’s done.
Please SHARE this article to honor Penny Marshall’s life. May she rest in peace.