top of page

Movie stars are insecure like everyone else. That's why they go into acting!  In my opinion, life is more important than show business.  If you're not having a good time, find something else that gives you some joy in life.


When I think about TRUE GENIUS' in the entertainment industry??.. A few, immediately spring forth to mind!!  Penny is one of the few!! Along with her brother, Garry.. theyy HAD IT (IN ABUNDANCE), & Hollywood & the world, LOVED it!!  Penny could ACT and DIRECT, and studios LOVED nothing more, than Penny or her brother, to be at the helm of any project!!!    

As a kid.. I'm honest - her charactor in "Laverne & Shirley," freaked me out!!  I don't know why to this day!  I think though, it had to do with the BIG "L" sweater that she CONSTANTLY wore!  ((I THINK!))  I also used to confuzzle her, with Lucy-goosey-Ball!!  Issshh!!  It wasn't till later in life ~ that I realized the genius of Penny!!

Wanna see a written check from Penny???   I have always loved to see the likes of this stuff!  & this too.. I really am not sure why!!

Penny Marshall, was born Carole Penny Marshall, in the Bronx, New York City, New York, on October 15, 1943.. ((The Carole, in her name was due to her mother's favorite actress was Carole Lombard.  Ironically, it was later drooopped!))  


She grew up at 3235 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.. This building, ALSO being the childhood home of Neil Simon, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren.  With her older brother off as a budding writer in Hollywood; and older sister Ronnie off to college.. She was left in the confines of this building with her CRAZY mother ((which she made absolutely NO qualms about!!)).. who ran a tap-dancing school on the top of the building!!  No doubt.. Her room was a constant source of shelter!  Age 3 - began her tap dancing lessons, and later taught tap at her mother's dance school...

She graduated from this all girls high school in New York, called the Walton High School, and managed several off the cuff jobs to support herself after graduation!!  In 1967, Penny moved to Los Angeles at the urging of her older brother Garry, already there, & a successful writer for The Dick Van Dyke Show! According to my buddy Scott of'He helped her settle in L.A. where she studied acting and auditioned for commercials and character parts.  She landed a guest spot on That Girl in 1968, and she appeared in a low budget biker film that year.  Penny considered becoming a stunt woman.'


According to wiki... Marshall first appeared on a television commercial for Head and Shoulders beautifying shampoo. She was hired to play a girl with stringy, unattractive hair, and Farrah Fawcett was hired to play a girl with thick, bouncy hair. As the crew was lighting the set, Marshall's stand-in wore a placard that read "Homely Girl" and Fawcett's stand-in wore a placard that said "Pretty Girl". Fawcett, sensing Marshall's insecurity about her looks, crossed out "Homely" on the Marshall stand-in placard and wrote "Plain".  My dad LOOOOVED Fawcett!!

In 1970, Garry Marshall became the executive producer of the television series The Odd Couple. The following year, Marshall was added to the permanent cast to play a secretary, Myrna, and held the role for four years. In Marshall's final appearance on The Odd Couple, her character married her boyfriend, Sheldn ("they left the "o" off the birth certificate", she explains), played by Rob Reiner, her real-life husband!!

While she was on The Odd Couple, she took advantage of a great situation, and went on to appear in several TV movies..  


In 1975, Garry Marshall, creator and then part-time writer for Happy Days, cast Marshall and Cindy Williams to guest appear on an episode of the show. The installment, titled "A Date with Fonzie", aired on November 11, 1975 and introduced the characters Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney (played by Marshall and Williams, respectively). In that episode, Laverne and Shirley were a pair of wisecracking brewery workers who were dates for Fonzie (Henry Winkler) and Richie (Ron Howard). The pair were such a hit with the studio audience that Garry Marshall decided to co-create and star them in a successful Paramount spinoff show, called simply, Laverne & Shirley!!  The rest is history!!  

Penny, urged on by Garry, would go on to try her hand at directing, and find out she too, was GOLDEN at that!! While starring on Laverne and Shirley, she made her debut as a director and directed four episodes of that show as well as other TV assignments. 

She went on to direct, BIG, starring Tom Hanks, (the first film directed by a woman to gross over $100 million), Awakenings, in 1990, starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, A League of Their Own, in 1992, which paired her again with Tom Hanks, as well as Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell, and The Preacher's Wife in 1996, starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.  She also gave Mark Wahlberg his first acting role!!

Her resume is long and strong.. & is here if you'd like to view!!

According to again, my bud Scott at 

Penny recalled a fantastic incident that occurred when two masked men entered her home to rob her.  They demanded her jewelry.  “I can’t.  I’m doing a movie.  I wore them on camera.  I have to match the shots.”  Penny was wearing a facial mask and just told the thieves that she was going to wash her face, and did.  When they recognized her, one exclaimed, “Oh, my God.  If we’d known it was you, we never would have come up.  “Well, you can leave anytime.”  It’s a great story that I read in the free preview of her book.  Seriously, it’s free.  It’s worth a look to read this story.  Her health grew worse.  I have skads of tabloid articles from over 8 years before her death… “Penny’s Last Days” “Penny Has Months To Live” “Penny Still Smoking!” “Penny’s Weight Balloons” “Roly-Poly Penny” “Penny Battling Cancer Again”. One article claims that after Carrie’s death, Penny reached out to Mark Wahlberg who moved her into his huge Hollywood home.  “He’s helping her cope with her grief, and keeping an eye on her health.”  That sounds unlikely, but if it’s in print it has to be true. .. ALWAYS good stuff @ FAD!! ~thanks Scott!

Penny proclaimed that she had “dodged a bullet” after her 4-year battle with a brain tumor and lung cancer that began in 2009.  Penny died in her Hollywood Hills home (see the back?).. on Monday night, December 17, 2018 from heart failure, caused by heart disease and diabetes. She was 75.

What a loss!!  WHAT A LOSS!!  A true entertainment GENIUS!!!

Marshall is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. The 'L' from her Laverne character is emblazoned at the bottom of her headstone.


Leave your virtual non-wilting flowers, and comments here!!


bottom of page