Actress and Director Penny Marshall has passed away at the age of seventy-five on December 17th, 2018.
The Bronx-born filmmaker had succumbed to complications stemming from her diabetes.
Marshall was perhaps most iconically known for her role as Laverne in the 1976 sitcom, Laverne and Shirley. The Happy Days spin-off proved to be a real ratings winner, eventually becoming the most-watched American TV program by its third season and propelling Marshall towards stardom.
Marshall was also notable for being a successful female director in Hollywood. Her 1988 movie Big, which starred Tom Hanks in the leading role, grossed over $151 million internationally. It was the first feature film by a woman to gross over $100 million.
Following Penny Marshall’s passing, many of her friends and former co-stars have paid their respects publicly.
These include the likes of Whoopi Goldberg who reminisced about working with Penny Marshall on Jumpin’ Jack Flash. It was Marshall’s first ever film as a director and Goldberg’s second as an actress.
Penny Marshall &I made Jumping Jack Flash together & the 1st film she directed & the second film i was ever in.We laughed, we yelled & for her i was a little black woman in a big silver box”being dragged thru the streets of LA. My condolences to Tracy &family RIP Penny Marshall
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) December 19, 2018
Her ex-husband, Rob Reiner also looked back fondly on Penny Marshall, saying that she was “born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it”.
I loved Penny. I grew up with her. She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) December 18, 2018
Tom Hanks also said his goodbyes, reflecting on the laughs they shared…
Goodbye, Penny. Man, did we laugh a lot! Wish we still could. Love you. Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) December 18, 2018
Ron Howard, with whom Marshall guest-starred in Happy Days, gave a heartfelt tribute, commending her on how easily she transitioned from sitcom star to director.
#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. https://t.co/pf2kfIkCH4
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) December 18, 2018
Meanwhile, Penny Marshall’s family released a statement, reminiscing about her life:
Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall. 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.
What are your favorite Penny Marshall movies? Did you enjoy her work on Laverne and Shirley? Share your thoughts in the comments below!