Penny Marshall, who starred in "Laverne & Shirley" before becoming one of the top-grossing female directors in Hollywood, has died. She was 75.
Marshall's publicist, Michelle Bega, said Marshall died in her Los Angeles home on Monday due to complications from diabetes. "Our family is heartbroken," the Marshall family said in a statement.
Marshall starred as Laverne DeFazio, the Milwaukee brewery worker, alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC comedy "Laverne & Shirley." The series, which aired from 1976 to 1983, was among the biggest hits of its era.
R.I.P. Penny Marshall. So talented and funny. A big loss.— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) December 18, 2018
Oh Penny Marshall. 💔 Rest In Peace and thank you for everything.❤️— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) December 18, 2018
I was invited by Penny Marshall to her house one afternoon to talk about a film she was doing. She was so kind to me. She was so smart and funny. I will never forget that afternoon. My heart goes out to her family and friends. pic.twitter.com/JGE9kB7uAF— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) December 18, 2018
It also gave Marshall her start as a filmmaker. She directed several episodes of "Laverne & Shirley" before making her feature film directorial debut in "Jumpin' Jack Flash," the 1986 comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg.
Her next film made Marshall the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million. Her 1988 hit comedy "Big," starring Tom Hanks, was about a 12-year-old boy who wakes up in the body of a 30-year-old New York City man.
The film earned Hanks an Oscar nomination.
Marshall reteamed with Hanks for "A League of Their Own," the 1992 comedy about the women's professional baseball league begun during World War II. That, too, crossed $100 million, making $107.5 million domestically.
I loved Penny. I grew up with her. She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her.— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) December 18, 2018
Sad to hear of Penny Marshall’s passing. a great comedienne a terrific director and a dear friend.— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) December 18, 2018
A generation before the current crop of female directors Penny Marshall made such memorable films as ‘Big’, ‘A League of Their Own’ and ‘Awakenings’. Let her not be forgotten. #PennyMarshall #RestInPeace pic.twitter.com/1c1iT6V3eI— Leonard Maltin (@leonardmaltin) December 18, 2018
A Bronx native, Marshall became a dedicated Los Angeles Lakers fan, and a courtside regular. Her brother Garry Marshall, who died in 2016, was also one of Hollywood's top comedy directors. Penny Marshall was married to Michael Henry for two years in the 1960s and to the director Rob Reiner from 1971-1981. Their daughter Tracy Reiner is an actress; one of her first roles was a brief appearance in her mother's "Jumpin' Jack Flash."
Marshall is also survived by her older sister, Ronny, and three grandchildren.