Penny Marshall, perhaps best known for the role Laverne DeFazio on Laverne & Shirley, and for directing films like Big and A League of Their Own has passed away from diabetes-related complications at 75. She died in her Hollywood Hills home, according to her publicist.
After eight seasons on the ABC sitcom that ran from 1976 to 1983, for which she was nominated for three Golden Globes, Marshall got her directorial break in 1986 with the Whoopi Goldberg film Jumpin’ Jack Flash, after the initial director dropped out. From there she became the first female director to direct a film grossing more than $100 million with Big (1988) — a feat which she repeated with A League of Their Own (1992), which she also executive produced.
Marshall also became the second woman to direct a film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture with Awakenings (1990), which starred Robert De Niro and Robin Williams and was based on the 1973 Oliver Sacks memoir of the same name.
Marshall had reportedly been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 that had metastasized to her brain, but she later revealed in 2012 that she was in remission. The following year in 2013 Marshall reunited onscreen with her Laverne & Shirley costar Cindy Williams in the Nickelodeon series Sam & Cat.