Penny Marshall, forever known by fans of classic television for her most famous character, Laverne DeFazio, has passed away.
Penny who, in the the 1970s, played the character of funny, always-monogrammed Laverne DeFazio across several popular televisions shows of the time, actually debuted her hit character in the popular 1950s-throwback series Happy Days (starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler). The character of Laverne then went on to appear in shows like Mork and Mindy (starring Robin Williams and Pam Dawber) and, eventually, Penny’s biggest platform for Laverne in the long-running series Laverne & Shirley (with Cindy Williams).
Penny Marshall, however, actually made her debut a couple of decades prior in the 1950s on The Jackie Gleason Show, appearing as a dancer when she was just a young girl. It would be over a decade, however, following that appearance before she would have another credit to her name. By the late 60s and early 70s, though, she had small acting roles in iconic television shows like That Girl (starring Marlo Thomas) and The Bob Newhart Show until she landed the role of series regular Myrna on the popular series The Odd Couple (starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman). After The Odd Couple Penny made a few appearances on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and, of course, Happy Days which would forever change her life.
Penny Marshall had a decades-long list of film and television credits to her name coming a bit full circle with her last acting credit on the reboot of The Odd Couple (starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon) in 2016. In addition to her work in front of the camera, though, Penny also had a long career in both producing and directing. One of her first directing gigs was on her own show Laverne & Shirley in 1979 and that led to a path of directing that would last almost forty years and would include modern 80s/90s classics like Big and A League of Their Own.
This actress, director and producer was a funny, talented woman and trailblazer who will forever have a place in entertainment history.
Photo Credit: ABC