U.S. actress, director Penny Marshall dies

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Marshall's family told TMZ: "Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall". Having taken on the role in 1976, the show spanned eight series - with the last season airing in May 1983.

Marshall was also known for her character Laverne in '70s sitcom Laverne and Shirley.

She directed Big, starring Tom Hanks as a boy in a man's body, and A League of Their Own, based on the true story of a professional women's baseball league in the 1940s. 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. She was 75 years old. But then, Tom Hanks wasn't the first choice to star in the film, either.

Penny Marshall at the Oscars in 1984. Anson Williams, who played Potsie on the show, said in a statement, "Penny was as courageous as she was talented, and broke down the wall for women directors". She had actually tried out for the role of Gloria on All In the Family, losing out to Sally Struthers for the role opposite Reiner.

"I loved Penny. I grew up with her". She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. Talented! I made the deal along with her agent Dan Strone, for her memoir My Mother Was Nuts, which accurately and aptly told the wonderful and amusing story of her life.

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She married Reiner in 1971, and the pair divorced 10 years later.

"I grew up wanting to be as amusing as Penny Marshall, and had the pleasure of meeting her a few times".

Marshall is best remembered as one half of the comedic duo "Laverne & Shirley".

"I'm terribly sad to hear the news about Penny passing". The couple dated until 2015, when Babcock passed away. "If I failed, I had my excuse: I was an actress, not a director". Maybe it's because it's just a feel good movie, something that gives many (especially women) a sense of hope and belonging, but A League of Their Own has enjoyed strong staying power for a reason. Popular director Ava DuVernay shared her condolences on Twitter. It was Penny Marshall. I was very fortunate to spend time with her. Beyond doubt she was able to excel at anything she put her world class mind & heart to and, lucky us, she picked comedy and films which celebrated humans. "Tough as nails. She could play round ball with the best of them". "Tough as nails", recalled Danny DeVito, who starred in Marshall's 1994 comedy "Renaissance Man". "Didn't happen, but, you know, we would say for awhile we had original pieces of the Laverne and Shirley bottling line - of the 'Schotz Brewery.' We still, today, pay homage to 'Laverne and Shirley.' It's a huge part of our tour", said Battle. For the trails you blazed.

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