Penny Marshall, best known as Laverne from the sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” died Monday. She was 75.
“Yes she did (die) … peacefully at her Hollywood Hills home,” her publicist Michelle Bega said, The New York Daily News reported. “She passed away from complications from diabetes.”
Marshall later found success behind the camera, directing hits such as “Big” and “A League of Their Own.”
She was born in the Bronx, New York City, on Oct. 15, 1943.
Born into a family in the entertainment industry, Marshall began her career at the age of 3 as a tap dancer.
She attended the University of New Mexico for 2.5 years, where she became pregnant with daughter Tracy Reiner. She married Tracy’s father, Michael Henry, in 1961, but they divorced two years later.
In 1967, Marshall moved to Los Angeles, joining brother Garry Marshall.
She married Rob Reiner in 1971.
Marshall first appeared on TV in a Head and Shoulders commercial. She was cast to portray a “homely girl” with unattractive hair. Farrah Fawcett had been cast as the “pretty girl” in the commercial.
Upon seeing Marshall’s reaction to her character, Fawcett crossed out “homely” and wrote “plain.”
Marshall starred in ABC’s hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley” with actress Cindy Williams. The show aired from 1976 to 1983.
'Schlemiel': an unlucky bungler
'Schlimazel': a consistently unlucky person
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) December 18, 2018
As a filmmaker, she became the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million with “Big,” the 1988 comedy starring Tom Hanks.
She also directed “A League of Their Own,” ”Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Awakenings.”
Rosie O’Donnell, who starred in “A League of Their Own,” shared a memory on Twitter of a Kmart commercial she and Marshall appeared in during the 1990s.
— ROSIE (@Rosie) December 18, 2018