Penny Marshall, ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star And ‘Big’ Filmmaker, Dead At 75

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Marshall died in her home in Hollywood Hills on December 17 after suffering from complications from diabetes, reported TMZ, which broke the story on December 18.

Following a number of guest roles, she landed a one-episode role on Happy Days (which Garry created) as Laverne, a Milwaukee brewery worker who, along with colleague Shirley (Cindy Williams), goes on a double date with Fonzie and Richie Cunningham. The cause was complications from diabetes, TV Guide has confirmed. "I've had braces put on my teeth twice, but they did no good".

Penny Marshall, born Carole Penny Marshall, named for actress Carole Lombard, was born on October 15, 1943.

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The aspiring actress was hardly blessed with typical Hollywood looks - she once appeared as the "before" photo in an ad for a beauty product, with Farrah Fawcett as the "after" girl - and Marshall never lost the thick accent of her home borough.

Marshall was once married to Rob Reiner and once dated Art Garfunkle. She was also only the second woman director to see her film Oscar-nominated for best picture.

Marshall spent the late 1960s in a succession of odd jobs, including tap-dance instructor, before her brother invited her to join him in Hollywood. Sitting on a sit-com set 40 years later, thinking about milk & pepsi, rodeo-doh-doh-doh & so many of her brilliant moments. While she got her start by stepping into replace Howard Zieff on the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle Jumpin' Jack Flash, she made a splash with her follow up, Big. Riding In Cars With Boys with Drew Barrymore.

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Mashall is survived by her older sister Ronny, daughter Tracy Reiner, and three grandchildren: Spencer, Bella and Viva. Occasionally, she'd play herself, as she did on Entourage and Bones.

Reviewers found Marshall's movies sentimental and technically undistinguished but noted her ability to wring disarming performances from her actors. "I had a kid already, my womb wasn't crying out". He said, "Don't listen to her, she's nuts"'. "I'll try anything. What are they gonna do, kick me out of show business?"

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