Penny Marshall’s cause of death was complications from diabetes, according to her publicist.
“Yes she did (die) … peacefully at her Hollywood Hills home,” Marshall’s publicist Michelle Bega told the . “She passed away from complications from diabetes.”
The Laverne & Shirley actress died Monday at her California home. She was 75.
Her family also confirmed the news in a statement: “Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” the statement to TMZ read. “Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family.”
“Penny was a girl from the Bronx, who came out West, put a cursive ‘L’ on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story,” her family’s statement to the Daily News read, referring to the monogrammed wardrobe of Marshall’s blue-collar protagonist Laverne De Fazio.
Marshall had reportedly been battling health issues on and off since 2009, when she was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her brain.
As Laverne De Fazio, Marshall played a beer bottle capper on Laverne & Shirley alongside her quirky co-star Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney. The monster hit show, a spinoff of Happy Days, ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983.
Following her success with Laverne & Shirley, Marshall reportedly felt pigeonholed in the role and stepped behind the camera in an unorthodox career move — but a great one, nonetheless. She directed Tom Hanks in Big in 1988, becoming the first woman in history to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million. She did it again with A League of Their Own in 1992, which starred Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna. She’s also well known for directing 1990’s Awakenings, for which Robert De Niro earned an Oscar nomination and which also starred the late Robin Williams.
The beloved comedic actress was married to actor Rob Reiner for 10 years, starting in 1971, until the pair divorced after a decade of marriage. She told in 2012 that in an odd twist of fate, she and Reiner grew up across the street from each other.
“When Rob Reiner and I were children, we lived across the street from each other. We never met because the Grand Concourse was a busy street, and we were too young to cross it,” she said.
“He went to PS 8, I went to 80. He moved when he was 7. His father, Carl, was one of the stars on Your Show of Shows, and he was the most famous person in the neighborhood. He was also known for giving out the best Halloween candy,” she said.
Marshall came from a show business family herself, with her father Tony Marshall a director and producer. Her mother, Marjorie, was a tap dance teacher. Two of Marshall’s siblings also went on to succeed in Hollywood: brother Garry Marshall, who helped her land her breakout role on Happy Days, as well as sister Ronny Harlin, a casting director and producer.
Marshall is survived by Ronny, her daughter, Tracy, and three grandkids — Spencer, Bella and Viva. Her family said plans for a “celebration of her life” will be announced at a later date.
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