Penny Marshall, the trailblazing director of smash-hit big-screen comedies who first indelibly starred in the top-rated sitcom "Laverne & Shirley", has died.
Her publicist confirmed that she died at her Hollywood Hills home Monday night from diabetes-related complications.
Marshall rocketed to fame in the 1970s for her role as the titular Laverne DeFazio in the TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley, for which she earned three Golden Globe nominations. She became the first woman to bring in more than $100 million on a film.
Happy Days matriarch Marion Ross said, "Our dear sweet Penny has gone up to see Garry".
She also sat in the director's chair for 'Awakenings, ' starring the late Robin Williams.
Marshall's directing career started with episodes of that show, and of another sit-com, Working Stiffs, which starred Michael Keaton and James Belushi.
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Marshall's family hailed her contribution to the entertainment industry in its statement, saying, "As an actress, her work on "Laverne & Shirley" broke ground featuring blue-collar women entertaining America in prime time".
"I first met Penny one month after arriving here in LA", Winkler said in a statement.
She also directed several episodes during its seven-year run, which inspired her to pursue the role full-time and eventually move into film. She didn't know that I would audition for her forever.
"The #AAGPBL Players Association are deeply saddened by the passing of #ALeagueofTheirOwn director, Penny Marshall".
Actor Josh Gad acknowledged the strides she made for women in film. "We've always said it's because we never liked the same drugs or men, but I know there's more to it". In her own words, via an interview with the LA Times shortly after the release of Big, Marshall said, "I think my problem is that I have a massive insecurity complex combined with a very huge ego". Other film directing credits of note include Whoopi Goldberg's Jumpin' Jack Flash as well as The Preacher's Wife starring Whitney Houston.
Marshall also accumulated eclectic items including rare vintage baseball photos she purchased on a trip to Cuba in 2001, the report said.
In 1995, Ronny Marshall reunited with her college sweetheart, Peter Babcock, after more than 42 years apart, according to an article in The Rock Island Dispatch-Argus. "May she rest in peace".
Her expected place in entertainment might be defined one of Marshall's first acting roles - as the plain, dandruff suffering roommate to a pretty girl named Farrah Fawcett in a shampoo commercial. "She could play round ball with the best of them".