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A League of Their Own Director Penny Marshall Dies at 75 

A League of Their Own Director Penny Marshall Dies at 75 

Penny Marshall

The beloved star of Laverne & Shirley and director of massive hits of the '80s and '90s died in her Hollywood home on Monday. 

The beloved star of Laverne & Shirley and director of A League of Their Own, Penny Marshall, died of complications from diabetes at 75 in Los Angeles on Monday, her publicist confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Marshall -- who directed some of the most successful films of the late 1980s and early '90s, including Big (1988), starring Tom Hanks, and Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986), which starred Whoopi Goldberg -- began acting on various TV shows throughout the '60s, including appearing on the popular That Girl.

Marshall even landed a recurring role on The Odd Couple in the early '70s. But when Marshall and Cindy Williams appeared on Marshall's brother Garry Marshall's top-rated series Happy Days as Laverne and Shirley, they became a hit that inspired a spin-off about female friendship that ran for eight seasons.

A native of the Bronx, Marshall directed a few episodes of Laverne & Shirley before going on to become one of the most popular directors of an era when there weren't many women behind the camera.

In 1992 Marshall directed the crowd-pleasing A League of Their Own, which starred Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, and Hanks in a fictional story based on the real women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was created during World War II.

Marshall also directed Awakenings (1990) with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, Renaissance Man (1994) with Danny DeVito and Gregory Hines, The Preacher's Wife (1996) with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, and Riding in Cars With Boys (2001) with Drew Barrymore.

O'Donnell, who became close with Marshall, appearing in Kmart holiday commercials with her and performing on Saturday Night Live with her in 1996, tweeted several times today about the loss of her friend.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.