Penny Marshall, who starred in “Laverne & Shirley” before becoming one of the top-grossing female directors in Hollywood, has died. She was 75.

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 1979 file photo, Penny Marshal, left,l and Cindy Williams from the comedy series
FILE – In this Sept. 9, 1979 file photo, Penny Marshal, left,l and Cindy Williams from the comedy series “Laverne & Shirley” appear at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/George Brich, FIle)

Mashall’s publicist, Michelle Bega, said Marshall passed away in her Hollywood Hills, Calif., home on Monday due to complications from diabetes.

“Sad to hear of Penny Marshall’s passing. a great comedienne a terrific director and a dear friend,” Billy Crystal tweeted.

“I grew up wanting to be as funny as Penny Marshall, and had the pleasure of meeting her a few times. Watch some old Laverne and Shirley to see why her brother Garry insisted on casting her. Comedy gold, she was,” tweeted Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik.

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2011 file photo, Penny Marshall arrives at the premiere of
FILE – In this Dec. 5, 2011 file photo, Penny Marshall arrives at the premiere of “New Year’s Eve” in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Marshall starred alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC comedy “Laverne & Shirley,” which aired from 1976 to 1983. As a filmmaker, she became the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million with “Big,” the 1988 comedy starring Tom Hanks. She also directed “A League of Their Own,” ”Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Awakenings.”

The success of Big made Marshall the first woman to direct a film that made more than $100m at the US box office. The 1992 women’s baseball comedy A League of Their Own made her the first woman to direct two films topping $100m at the US box office.

She played Laverne DeFazio on Laverne & Shirley, a situation comedy that ran on the ABC network from 1976 to 1983, following the lives of two single women and their nutty friends in 1950s and 60s Milwaukee.

Marshall, known for her bluntness, described the success of the series this way: “We dared to be stupid,” reported by The Guardian.

Source: The Associated Press & The Guardian

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