Hollywood legend Penny Marshall died in her Hollywood Hills home on Monday night due to complications from diabetes. She was 75. Born Caroline Marshall, the Bronx native was also sister to another film legend, Gary Marshall. Her first credited role began in 1968, 50 years ago, and she would go on tackle every angle of Hollywood as a director, producer, actress and writer.
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Marshall was known primarily for playing Laverne DeFazio in the sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” in the late 70s and early 80s. But she also made a name for herself directing Hollywood hits like Whoopi Goldberg‘s “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Tom Hanks‘ “Big,” and “A League of Their Own,” which included pop star Madonna. She also directed 1996’s “The Preacher’s Wife,” which starred Denzel Washington and the late, great Whitney Houston.
When Whitney died in 2012, Marshall reflected on working with the music legend.
“She was a great girl, and we got along fine,” Marshall said at the time. “She sang beautifully, but like a baseball player doesn’t pitch every day, you had to schedule certain things at certain times. You have to take the actors into consideration.”
“I went to her mom’s church in Newark [N.J.] and I went to Denzel’s church out here [in Los Angeles], and we auditioned choirs. I had never done anything with music of the current time, because most of the movies I did were period pictures.”
No wonder the music was excellent in “The Preacher’s Wife” — Miss Penny got the church treatment.
Marshall’s legacy will continue. She directed a documentary on Dennis Rodman, which was expected to be released next year.
Among those paying respects to Penny Marshall were Black celebrities. See below:
1. Viola Davis
2. Ava Duvernay
3. Anika Noni Rose
4. Cyrus McQueen
5. Shad Moss
6. Matthew A. Cherry
7. Ira Madison III
8. Ed Gordon
9. ‘The Real’ talk show
10. Loni Love
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