‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star Penny Marshall Has Died

Despite a career as a successful director, she’ll always be remembered as Laverne.

By Marilyn Nelson on December 18, 2018
(Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect)

Actress and director Penny Marshall, known for her role as feisty Laverne on the ‘Laverne & Shirley’ TV show in the 1970’s has died. TMZ reports that Marshall died Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes.

Following the massive success of ‘Laverne and Shirley’ which ran for eight seasons, Marshall directed hit movies such as ‘Big’ and ‘A League of Their Own.’

Penny’s family said in a statement, “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.”

Marshall began her career by playing bit parts before becoming a semi-regular on “The Odd Couple” as Oscar Madison’s secretary. Her brother, Garry Marshall, was an executive producer on “The Odd Couple” as well as creator of “Happy Days” and co-created “Laverne & Shirley.” 

Marshall was married to UMN football player Michael Henry, with whom she had a daughter, her only child, Tracy in 1964, according to the Los Angeles Times

While staring in “Laverne & Shirley” Marshall was married to Rob Reiner. The two later divorced. 

Marshall is survived by her sister Ronny, daughter Tracy Reiner and three grandchildren, Spencer, Bella and Viva. Plans for a memorial service have yet to be made.