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Penny Marshall Dies at 75

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Actress and director Penny Marshall, who starred alongside Cindy Williams in the hit comedy “Laverne & Shirley” (1976-1983), died “peacefully” on Monday night of complications from diabetes. The Bronx, NY, native was 75 years old.

Her first recurring role was playing Myrna Turner on “The Odd Couple,” which was directed by her brother Garry Marshall. That same year, in April 1971, Marshall married actor/director Rob Reiner, who adopted her daughter, Tracy. The couple divorced 10 years later but remained close, and they have five grandchildren.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>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.</p>&mdash; Rob Reiner (@robreiner) <a href=”https://twitter.com/robreiner/status/1075113203691008000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>December 18, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Of her many acting roles, most will remember her as Laverne DeFazio (“Laverne & Shirley”), who donned sweaters with an oversized letter L. The role garnered her three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

She made her directorial debut with “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” in 1986 before directing Tom Hanks in “Big” in 1988. That film became a big hit for her, as she became the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million.

In 2010, she was reported was diagnosed with lung cancer that had metastasized to her brain, but she revealed in 2012 that she was in remission.

In a statement, her family said, “Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall.  Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family.

“She was a comedic natural with a photographic memory and an instinct for slapstick,” her family added. “We hope her life continues to inspire other to spend time with family, work hard and make of their dreams come true.”

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