Penny Marshall Dies at 75

Penny Marshall, star of Laverne & Shirley and film director, has died. She was 75 and suffered from diabetes. She also suffered from cancer, and announced it was in remission in 2013.  

Marshall played Laverne on ABC comedy Laverne & Shirley, a spinoff of Happy Days. The show lasted from 1976 to 1983. She directed the films A League of Their Own, Big and The Preacher's Wife. The last movie she directed was Riding in Cars With Boys, starring Drew Barrymore, in 2001.

Marshall became the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million, reported the New York Times, when she made Big in 1988. Tom Hanks starred in the movie, and starred in the baseball movie A League of Their Own, along with Madonna, Geena Davis and Rosie O'Donnell.

Marshall grew up in the Bronx and attended the University of New Mexico. Her brother, Garry, was a successful TV producer and film director. He produced Happy Days.

Her TV work prior to Laverne & Shirley included The Odd Couple. She had directed a few episodes of Laverne & Shirley, said the NY Times, which led to her film work.

Marshall produced movies as well, and published the memoir My Mother Was Nuts.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.