The world lost a monumental force comedic talent yesterday when the legendary actress and director Penny Marshall passed away at the age of 75 due to complications from diabetes.
Marshall was best known for creating the role of Laverne DeFazio in the classic sitcom Happy Days and reprising her role in the sensational spinoff Laverne and Shirley which ran for eight seasons from 1976-1983.
Aside from her television roles, Marshall had a very accomplished career as a director during the 1980s and 90s, her debut being Jumpin’ Jack Flash. She followed this up with the Tom Hanks blockbuster, Big which was the first film helmed by a female director to ever gross over $100 million dollars at the box office.
After the success of Big, Marshall went on to direct Awakenings (Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture), A League of Their Own, Renaissance Man, The Preacher’s Wife, and Riding in Cars with Boys. Marshall also lent her directing talent to television, helming several episodes of Laverne and Shirley as well as According to Jim and The United States of Tara.
Younger audiences may remember Marshall most from a cameo appearance she did with her brother Garry Marshall (with whom she was a frequent collaborator) in the cult-classic Disney film, Hocus Pocus.