Hollywood pays tribute to 'trailblazer,' 'pioneer' Penny Marshall

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Penny Marshall, who co-starred in U.S. comedy show Laverne & Shirley before becoming a successful Hollywood director, has died at 75.

Penny Marshall, who died Monday of complication from diabetes, was one of Hollywood's important feminist trailblazers - though she often pushed back against that label.

The show - a spin-off of Happy Days - aired from 1976 to 1983 and saw Marshall net three Golden Globe nominations for best actress in a TV comedy or musical.

Kaprall worked as a writer and producer on "Laverne and Shirley", the "Happy Days" spin off starring Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams that became the no. 1 show on TV for two years.

Marshall - who attended the University of New Mexico in the '60s and had other ties to New Mexico - was the first woman to helm movies that earned more than $100 million.

Comedy baseball movie A League Of Their Own was another critical and box office hit and was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry in 2012 for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Director Rob Reiner, who was married to Marshall for 10 years in the 1970s, issued a statement after her death. He even appeared in front of the camera as Laverne DeFazio's boyfriend Officer Hughes after playing Marshall's boyfriend on another classic sitcom "The Odd Couple".

In between "Big" and "A League of Their Own", Marshall made the Oliver Sacks adaptation "Awakenings", with Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead At 75

"Penny Marshall had me audition 6 times for a role and then I didn't get it". The story goes that a producer, having seen real-life friends Goldberg and Marshall at dinner, bet that Marshall could right the troubled production.

"She broke ground as the first female director to gross $100 million with "Big" in 1988", which starred Tom Hanks.

FILE - In this September 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.

"I think she had perseverance", he said.

In a 3-star review from famed film critic Roger Ebert about this game-changing film, he said, "Marshall shows her women characters in a tug-of-war between new images and old values, and so her movie is about transition - about how it felt as a woman suddenly to have new roles and freedom". I was very fortunate to spend time with her. I grew up with her.

"Jumpin' Jack Flash" did fair business, but Marshall's next film, "Big", was a major success. Man, did we laugh a lot! Penny brought so much joy to so many and will be sorely missed. She was a very amusing, gifted and deceptively smart woman.

ABC Ronny Marshall Hallin, center, with her sister and brother, Penny Marshall and Gary Marshall, niece, Tracy Reiner and nephew Scott Marshall at a taping of Celebrity Family Feud in 2015.

Describing her upbringing, Marshall, who wrote a memoir titled "My Mother Was Nuts", once said, "you had to form a sense of humor or else you'd kill yourself". "May she rest in peace". "She could play round ball with the best of them".

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