Beloved sitcom star, Penny Marshall, has sadly died at the age of 75. She suffered complications from her diabetes and passed on Dec. 17.
Laverne & Shirley star, Penny Marshall, is dead at 75 years old, TMZ confirmed on Dec. 18. The actress passed away at her home in Hollywood Hills on Dec. 17 after her diabetes caused complications. She is best known for her massive TV show, Laverne & Shirley. Penny portrayed Laverne DeFazio on the show, which ran from 1976-1983. She received three Golden Globe nominations — for Best Actress, Television Series Musical or Comedy — for this role. However, Penny was also successful in other acting ventures, as well as as a comedienne and director.
Penny directed Tom Hanks’ film Big in 1988, which became the first movie directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million. She also famously directed the hit movie A League of Their Own in 1992, as well as Awakenings, which starred Robert Williams and Robert DeNiro in 1990. Her other feature film director credits are on Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Renaissance Man, The Preacher’s Wife and Riding in Cars With Boys. Additionally, Penny has appeared in episodes of Happy Days, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mork & Mindy, Fraiser, Portlandia and many more. Her most recent role was in 2016’s The Odd Couple.
“Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” the actress’ family said in a statement to TMZ. “Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family.”
Penny wed her first husband, Michael Henry, in 1963. They met at the University of New Mexico, and she dropped out of school to get married. During their marriage, which lasted three years, Penny gave birth to one daughter named Tracy. She went onto marry Rob Reiner in April 1971, who adopted Tracy. Rob and Penny split in 1981, but have five grandchildren together through Tracy. Penny was also close friends with Carrie Fisher and is the godmother to the actress’ daughter, Billie Lourd.
There is little information known about Penny’s battle with diabetes. However, she had suffered health issues in the past. It was first reported that she had lung cancer, which spread to her brain, in 2010. She confirmed in 2012 that she was in remission.