The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan paid his respects to late actress-filmmaker and “top-notch human being” Penny Marshall when filling in for Ryan Seacrest as guest co-host on Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Host Kelly Ripa remembered Marshall as “one of the giants, giants in comedy.”
“I loved her so much. I got to meet her several times in the course of my life and i just thought she was not just a genius and a brilliant director, but just a kind person and a regular girl from the Bronx,” Ripa said.
“She never let all of her stardom and fame go to her head, and just a lovely human being. I’m very, very sad to read about her passing at the age of 75. Way too young.”
“Way too young,” said Morgan.
“I grew up watching Laverne & Shirley, and she was special and an amazing writer-director and just a — I met her a few times myself — just a top-notch human being.”
The veteran actress died Monday from complications of diabetes.
As an actress, Marshall is best remembered as tomboyish Brooklyn-born Laverne DeFazio in Happy Days spinoff Laverne & Shirley, which earned the star three consecutive Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical.
Marshall directed seminal ‘80s classic Big and 1992’s A League of Their Own, both starring Tom Hanks, and both fondly remembered today; Big was the first film with a woman director to earn over $100 million at the domestic box office.
#RIPPennyMarshall She was funny & so smart. She made the transition from sitcom star to A List movie director with ease & had a major impact on both mediums. All that & always relaxed, funny & totally unpretentious. I was lucky to have known & worked with her. //t.co/pf2kfIkCH4— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) December 18, 2018
Marshall’s contemporary, Happy Days star and Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard, memorialized the “funny & so smart” Marshall on Twitter, writing:
“She made the transition from sitcom star to A List movie director with ease & had a major impact on both mediums. All that & always relaxed, funny & totally unpretentious. I was lucky to have known & worked with her.”0comments
All in the Family star and The Princess Bride director Rob Reiner, Marshall’s ex-husband, tweeted, “She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funny bone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her.”
“Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” Marshall’s family said in a statement. “Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together, and being with her family.”