Laverne & Shirley Star-Turned-Film Director Penny Marshall Dead at 75

Penny Marshall Dead Laverne Shirley

Penny Marshall, who became an on-screen star as one half of Laverne & Shirley and went on to direct feature films including Big, died Monday at her home. Per the New York Daily News, Marshall passed away from complications from diabetes.

Marshall had roles in The Odd Couple and Mary Tyler Moore before landing the part of Happy Days‘ Laverne DeFazio, a character who later got her own spinoff (with Cindy Williams’ Shirley Feeny) titled Laverne & Shirley.

After Laverne wrapped its eighth and final season in 1983, Marshall’s TV gigs included FrasierNash BridgesBones, Mulaney, Sam & Cat and Entourage. She also did a voice work for animated series like The Simpsons and Murder Police.

Marshall, who directed four episodes of Laverne, later became an in-demand director. In addition to Big — which was the first movie directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million domestically — she helmed films like The Preacher’s Wife and A League of Their Own, as well as episodes of TV’s United States of Tara and According to Jim.


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