Penny Marshall: 'Laverne & Shirley' Star, 'League of Their Own' Director Dies at 75

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The entertainment industry lost a true legend on Tuesday, as actress and filmmaker Penny Marshall, famous for her role as Laverne in the beloved sitcom Laverne & Shirley, passed away at the age of 75.

According to TMZ, Marshall died in her Hollywood Hills home on Monday night. The cause of death was complications stemming from diabetes.

Marshall become widely known for her starring turn in Laverne & Shirley, where she starred for 178 episodes from 1976 to 1983. Actress Cindy Williams co-starred as Shirley in 158 of the series episodes. She also appeared several episodes of The Odd Couple and Happy Days.

In addition to her work on sitcoms, Marshall broke ground as a feature film director. After directing multiple TV episodes and the Whoopi Goldberg-starring Jumpin' Jack Flash, Marshall helmed the beloved comedy Big, starring Tom Hanks. Not only was the film a hit with viewers, but it became a substantial financial success as well. With Big, Marshall became the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million at the box office.


In the few years following Big, Marshall directed Tom Hanks once again in A League of Their Own, and brought to life Awakenings, starring Robin Williams. Her final feature film as director came in 2001 with Riding in Cars With Boys. Marshall also directed episodes of According to Jim and United States of Tara.

Marshall's family released a statement saying, "Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall. Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together, and being with her family."