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Penny Marshall, co-star of 'Laverne & Shirley' and director of 'A League of Their Own,' dead at 75

Posted: 12:57 PM, Dec 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-18 19:36:31Z

Actress Penny Marshall, who found fame in TV's "Laverne & Shirley" before going on to direct such beloved films as "Big" and "A League of Their Own," has died. She was 75.

Marshall died peacefully in her Hollywood Hills home on Monday night due to complications from diabetes, said Michelle Bega, a spokeswoman for the family.

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

Marshall's role as outspoken tomboy Laverne DeFazio in the "Happy Days" spin-off "Laverne & Shirley" catapulted the Bronx native to celebrity in the late '70s.

She began her directing career by helming episodes of TV series before landing her first feature-film directing job with the 1986 Whoopi Goldberg action-comedy "Jumpin' Jack Flash." With her second film, "Big," starring Tom Hanks, Marshall became the first woman to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million.

She repeated that success in 1992 with the baseball movie "A League of Their Own."

A celebration of Marshall's life will be held at a later date to be announced, the family said.

Marshall survived by her older sister, Ronny, daughter, actress Tracy Reiner, and three grandchildren.

"We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true," her family said.