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Acclaimed filmmaker, actress Penny Marshall has passed away at 75

It is with a heavy heart that we report on the passing of Penny Marshall, the iconic actress, comedian, and director who helmed such cinematic gems as BIG, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, and AWAKENINGS. Marshall passed on Monday night in the comfort of her Hollywood Hills home after battling complications from diabetes.

As a Swiss Army Knife of talent, Marshall's contributions to the Hollywood scene extended far beyond her directorial efforts. In her time as a star of screens both big and small, Marshall portrayed a raft of memorable characters, from THE ODD COUPLE's Myrna Turner to the legendary Laverne DeFazio for the HAPPY DAYS spinoff sitcom, LAVERNE & SHIRLEY. In fact, the antics of both Laverne and Shirley (Cindy Williams) were so popular that an animated series featuring the duo called LAVERNE & SHIRLEY IN THE ARMY was introduced in 1981, with both Marshall and Williams voicing their respective characters.

In 1988, Marshall began crafting a directorial trifecta for the ages, beginning with her work on the comedic family drama BIG starring Tom Hanks. Then in 1990, Marshall delivered the emotional powerhouse biographical drama AWAKENINGS starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. Then, to cap her astounding streak of blockbuster filmmaking, Marshall directed an ensemble cast of female greats in A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, a comedy centering on two sisters (played by Geena Davis and Lori Petty) who join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry. As a charming, funny, and emotionally-charged comedy, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN remains one of the most beloved features in sports-related filmmaking to this very day.

When issuing a statement about her passing, Marshall's own 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. As an actress, her work on 'Laverne & Shirley' broke ground featuring blue-collar women entertaining America in prime time.She was a comedic natural with a photographic memory and an instinct for slapstick."

Her family then added, "We hope her life continues to inspire other to spend time with family, work hard and make of their dreams come true."

As always, we here at JoBlo would like to extend our warmest and most sincere condolences to Ms. Marshall's family, friends, and fans. The world has lost a truly gifted soul with Penny's passing, and we wish her a peaceful journey to the Great Hereafter.

Source: TMZ

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