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Profile of the Day: Penny Marshall

On this day in 1943, Penny Marshall was born. After gaining fame as Laverne in the hit television show Laverne & Shirley, Marshall would go on to direct several box office hits on the big screen.

Image: Penny Marshall / Wikimedia Commons

Marshall was born on October 15, 1943 in New York City, New York to Anthony “Tony” Masciarelli, later known as Anthony W. Marshall, and Marjorie Irene Ward. Her father worked as a director of industrial films, while her mother worked as a dance teacher. She had two siblings, Garry and Ronny, whom she would later follow into show business.

After joining her brother in Los Angeles, California in 1967, Marshall landed a few guest spots on television. Then in 1975, Marshall was cast as Laverne DeFazio in an episode of Happy Days alongside Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney. The comedy duo were such a huge hit that their characters were given their own spinoff, Laverne & Shirley. Created by her brother Garry, the show ran for eight seasons and earned Marshall three Golden Globes nominations.

In addition to acting, Marshall also had an interest in directing. Encouraged by her brother to pursue her interest, she made her debut as a director on Laverne & Shirley. As a director, Marshall would later find box office success with films such as Big and A League of Their Own. In fact, Big was the first film directed by a woman to gross over $100 million.

Marshall died on December 17, 2018 at the age of 75.

View Penny Marshall’s Geni Profile

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The post Profile of the Day: Penny Marshall first appeared on The Geni Blog.


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