Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead at 75

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Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead at 75

Penny Marshall, the star of top-rated Happy Days spin-off Laverne & Shirley and director of such film hits as 1988’s Big and 1992’s A League of Their Own, has died. She was 75 years old.

Marshall died peacefully on Monday night in her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes, Michelle Bega, a spokeswoman for her family, told The Los Angeles Times.

Marshall, the sister of filmmaker and Happy Days creator Garry Marshall, rose to fame co-starring as tough-talking Milwaukee brewery worker Laverne DeFazio opposite Cindy Williams’ Shirley Feeney in Laverne & Shirley, which ran for eight seasons on ABC from 1976-1983.

She made her feature directorial debut in 1986 with the Whoopi Goldberg-starring Jumpin’ Jack Flash, which she followed up in 1988 with Big, which became the first film directed by a woman to gross over $100 million and earned an Oscar nomination for star Tom Hanks. Marshall’s other notable directing credits include the beloved baseball classic A League of Their Own, which also grossed over $100 million, and 1996’s The Preacher’s Wife.

Tributes have come in for Marshall on Twitter from both Hollywood and the sports world. Many noted the positive influence that her film A League of Their Own offered young women interested in becoming baseball players. See a few for yourself below.