Director Penny Marshall, of ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Dead at 75
She was just as famous for being a director and as an actress. Marshall died yesterday in her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes. Her family released the following statement, “Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall.”
Marshall was a busy woman and wore many different hats both in front and behind the camera. Her biggest role was easily the feisty Laverne De Fazio opposite to Cindy Williams’ perky Shirley Feeney, two Milwaukee brewery workers with big dreams. After that she aimed even higher directing box office hits like “Big” and “A League of Their Own.”
Laverne and Shirley was a spinoff of “Happy Days” also taking place in the 1950’s which debuted in January 1976 and quickly became a hit earning it a #1 rating in 1977 and 1978. It aired until 1983. Her director/actor brother Garry Marshall was the creator of Happy Days and co-created “Laverne & Shirley.” He once told his sister, ‘I’m not giving you a job ’cause I’m nice. I’m not that nice.’“
She had directed a few episodes of Laverne and Shirley and three years after the show was off the air Marshall made her directorial debut with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” starring Whoopi Goldberg.
In 1988 she became the first woman director in Hollywood history to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million with the movie “Big” starring Tom Hanks.
Her next movie was nominated for three Oscars. “Awakenings” from 1990 starred Robert De Niro and Robin Williams
Then in 1992 there was, “A League of Their Own” starring Tom Hanks and Geena Davis.
Her brother Garry Marshall died in 2016
Marshall was a huge sports fan and had seasons tickets to the Lakers and also had a huge collection of sport memorabilia.
Marshall had said she was always a tomboy who loved baseball. She was born in the Bronx on October 15, 1943. She majored in psychology at the University of New Mexico. – by John Beaudin
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John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 35 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.
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