Penny Marshall, who broke ground for women in Hollywood throughout her career, has died at the age of 75.
Marshall died “peacefully” Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home, according to the New York Daily News, who first reported the death.
Marshall passed away from complications related to diabetes, according to her publicist. She gained fame in the 70s as Laverne DeFazio in “Laverne and Shirley,” before stepping behind the camera to become an extremely successful director and producer.
A statement from Marshall’s family reads, “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. As an actress, her work on “Laverne & Shirley” broke ground featuring blue-collar women entertaining America in prime time. She was a comedic natural with a photographic memory and an instinct for slapstick. When Penny directed Tom Hanks in the movie “Big” she became a pioneer as the first woman in history to helm a film that grossed more than $100 million. She did it again with “A League of Their Own.” She directed many stars including Geena Davis, Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Madonna, Denzel Washington, Rosie O’Donnell and Whitney Houston.”
Marshall’s family points out that, “She even gave Mark Wahlberg his first acting job,” adding that, “Penny was a girl from the Bronx, who came out West, put a cursive “L” on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story. We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true.”
A celebration of Marshall’s life will be held at a later date.
Her brother, director Garry Marshall, died in 2016 after suffering a stroke.