US actress, director Penny Marshall dies

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Her publicist confirmed that she died at her Hollywood Hills home Monday night from diabetes-related complications.

Penny Marshall, who died on December 17 at age 75, may have played a charming underachiever on TV.

The success of Big made Marshall the first woman to direct a film that made more than $100 million at the US box office.

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The show ran until 1983, and Marshall, who had directed a few episodes of the sitcom, turned her attention towards directing feature films, with her first being Jumpin' Jack Flash starring Whoopi Goldberg. "Your movie A League of Their Own honored the women of the (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League) and inspired others to play baseball. Watch some old Laverne and Shirley to see why her brother Garry insisted on casting her. Comedy gold, she was". "The next time we worked together was on that iconic episode of 'Happy Days.' She was so inventive, so amusing and so warm".

"Like it or not, most people don't want Milwaukee to be known as the city of 'Laverne and Shirley, ' but it was a amusing show".

Her 1990 film "Awakenings", starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, made her the second female director to earn an Oscar nominee for best picture in 1991.

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"Sad to hear of Penny Marshall's passing. a great comedienne a terrific director and a dear friend", wrote actor and comedian Billy Crystal. Besides its many other achievements, this was the first film directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million at the box office, making it essential viewing for cinema history buffs as well as casual viewers.

Laverne & Shirley also starred Cindy Williams as Shirley, indelicate tomboy Laverne's more well-mannered apartment roommate and brewery co-worker. "She made really conscious choices and made really iconic films", Zima said.

Rob Reiner, her ex-husband of eight years, remembered his relationship with Marshall fondly, praising her gift for comedy and her natural amusing bone. "She always said, 'I had a great life, '" Hallin told the New York Post. "I led an oddly charmed life for someone she thought was a not charming person". 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.

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Marshall went on to direct such flicks as "Big", "Awakenings" and "A League of Their Own". Other items included modern-era National Basketball Association jerseys, with a Michael Jordan jersey she owned selling for more than $52,000, the report said. That series also starred future film director Rob Reiner, to whom Marshall was married from 1971 to 1979. Her first was to her college sweetheart, Michael Henry, with whom she had a daughter, Tracy. "May she rest in peace". The screwball comedy series, created by her late brother, Garry Marshall, followed the antics of two blue-collar women who worked as bottle cappers at a factory in Milwaukee. Occasionally, she'd play herself, as she did on Entourage and Bones.