Penny Marshall, star of Laverne & Shirley and director of A League of Their Own, passed away this week at the age of 75. After the news of her death broke on Tuesday afternoon, countless members of the industry have taken to social media to celebrate her life, including The Simpsons producer and director David Silverman and showrunner Al Jean.
While that may not seem super significant, Penny Marshall broke ground on The Simpsons as the show's first-ever celebrity guest. After 30 years on the air, celebrity guests have been a staple for The Simpsons, to this stands as a pretty big deal.
"So long to Penny Marshall, our first guest star," Silverman wrote on Twitter. "The Babysitter Bandit in Some Enchanted Evening. Great comedic actor and director. RIP."
So long to Penny Marshall, our first guest star. The Babysitter Bandit in Some Enchanted Evening (7G01). Great comedic actor and director. RIP pic.twitter.com/d43fyN5O68— David Silverman (@tubatron) December 18, 2018
"Some Enchanted Evening" was the 13th episode of The Simpsons' debut season back in 1990. Marshall played a character named Ms. Botz, a babysitter that was hired to watch Bart and Lisa when Homer and Marge wanted to go out on a date. As the episode unfolded, it was revealed that Mr. Botz was actually a diabolical villain and the kids needed to escape. Silverman co-directed "Some Enchanted Evening" alongside Kent Butterworth.
Though Al Jean has only served as The Simpsons showrunner for the last 20 years, he's been involved as a writer and producer since the beginning. He also took to Twitter to remember Penny Marshall after her passing.
"The Simpsons Penny Marshall our first guest star and a great talent," Jean wrote. "You will be missed!"
Like Silverman's tweet, Jean included a photo of Marshall's character from the episode.
Penny Marshall become well known for starring in the beloved sitcom, Laverne & Shirley. She portrayed Laverne for 178 episodes between 1976 and 1983. Marshall went on to direct several feature films including Awakenings, A League of Their Own, and Big, for which she became the first woman to direct a movie that made more than $100 million at the box office.