Stars React To Penny Marshall’s Death At Age 75

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Actor and director Penny Marshall has died. She was 75. Marshall passed away on Dec. 17 at her home in Hollywood Hills due to complications from diabetes. She had previously battled cancer but was in remission.

“Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” the Marshall family said in a statement. “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.”

Marshall is survived by her sister, Ronny Hallin, her daughter, Tracy Reiner, and three grandchildren.

penny marshall photo
Getty Images | Larry Busacca

Perhaps best well-known for her starring role as Laverne DaFazio in the hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” which aired on ABC from 1976 to 1983, she went on to become the first woman who directed a movie that grossed more than $100 million with 1988’s “Big,” starring Tom Hanks.

Her brother, Garry Marshall, also worked as an actor, director, producer and screenwriter and helped his sister get her start in Hollywood with small roles, including on “Happy Days,” the hit sitcom he co-created that spawned “Laverne & Shirley.” Garry died in 2016.

She began her career behind the scenes by directing episodes of  “Laverne & Shirley.” In addition to “Big,” she went on to direct a number of successful movies, including  “Awakenings,” “A League of Their Own” and “Renaissance Man.” She also produced several of the films she directed.

In 2012, Marshall published her memoir, “My Mother Was Nuts,” which gave an intimate account of her personal life, including her two marriages and divorces and her relationships with fellow Hollywood stars like Carrie Fisher as well as her unique show business success story.

Stars, including Billy Crystal, Ava duVernay, Mayim Bialik, BowWow and Danny DeVito, took to social media to pay tribute to the trailblazing Hollywood star:

Major League Baseball even joined in the online tributes for Marshall.