Hollywood is heartbroken over the loss of actress/director Penny Marshall who sadly passed away earlier this week at age 75 due to diabetic complications. The legendary Ms. Marshall began her career starring in the iconic sitcom Laverne & Shirley which ran for eight seasons on ABC from 1976 to 1983, yet it was her directorial work on cinematic blockbusters such as Big (1988), Awakenings (1990) and A League of Their Own (1992) that left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry; making history as the first woman to direct a movie that grossed $100 million. In a 2012 interview, Penny stated her preference for working behind the camera…
“With directing I didn’t have to wear makeup or get my hair done. But I do not like getting up that early. In TV we did our show in front of an audience so we got up early only one morning. We did camera blocking in the morning and we shot at night which was a much more humane existence. No one is funny at 7am. It’s faster to act but a lot of times you are sitting in a Winnebago waiting. Directing is more fun if you can create stuff. If you can create business for people to do and not just pull lines out of people’s mouths. So if people come prepared then you can add business. I like behavior.” – Source: womenandhollywood.com
Penny not only provided audiences with uplifting entertainment, but her work also held a societal significance. A League of Their Own brought forth recognition and broke barriers for women during a time when they might otherwise have been ignored…
“If it had not been for Penny Marshall, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League would still be unknown. It would have been known only to those who lived in that area at that time [World War II], said Shirley Burkovich, one of 79 surviving members of the league.” – Source: USA Today
Ms. Marshall was an undeniable film industry force and she touched the lives of many. Several Hollywood heavy-hitters took to social media to express their love and appreciation.
Goodbye, Penny. Man, did we laugh a lot! Wish we still could. Love you. Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) December 18, 2018
I loved Penny. I grew up with her. She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) December 18, 2018
“I’m terribly sad to hear the news about Penny passing. My heart goes out to Tracy Reiner and her family. Penny brought so much joy to so many and will be sorely missed. I will be forever grateful to her for letting me be a part of A League of Their Own.” Geena Davis
— GeenaDavisInstitute (@GDIGM) December 18, 2018
#RIPPennyMarshall She was funny & so smart. She made the transition from sitcom star to A List movie director with ease & had a major impact on both mediums. All that & always relaxed, funny & totally unpretentious. I was lucky to have known & worked with her. https://t.co/pf2kfIkCH4
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) December 18, 2018
Fans also shared nostalgic affection for the adorable actress that brought heartfelt hilarity alongside several standout stars. A delightfull list of laughter indeed!
— Melanie (@Milehighmela) December 19, 2018
Who knew Penny Marshall was responsible for so many of my fav 80s/90s films! She was ahead of her time in terms of strong black females who actually played lead roles #RIPPennyMarshall thanks for the unknown magic
— purveyor of pleasure 🤪 (@SuperSimma) December 19, 2018
— Fe-liz Navidad ❤️💚 (@moiraswigs) December 19, 2018
RIP Penny… a remarkable woman that is truly in A League of Her Own! ♥