Celebrities react to Penny Marshalls death: She had a heart of gold


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When Penny Marshall died Monday at 75, she left behind an incredible pop culture legacy that spanned decades. After first becoming a TV icon playing Laverne DeFazio on Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley, Marshall went on to distinguish herself as a film director. With 1998’s Big, she became the first woman in Hollywood history to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million at the box office, and she topped that number again with A League of Their Own in 1992.

After news of Marshall’s death broke Tuesday, collaborators and admirers alike expressed their condolences and shared favorite memories online. Rosie O’Donnell, who starred in A League of Their Own, shared a 1996 K-Mart commercial she and Marshall had appeared in, writing, “simply heartbroken.” Danny DeVito, who had starred in Marshall’s 1994 comedy Renaissance Man, wrote, “I was very fortunate to spend time with her. So many laughs. She had a heart of gold. Tough as nails.” Ron Howard, who starred in Happy Days before also transitioning to film directing and whose 2005 film Cinderella Man was produced by Marshall, tweeted that no matter what medium she was working in, Marshall was “always relaxed, funny, and totally unpretentious.”

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Rob Reiner, who was married to Marshall in the ’70s, wrote that she was “born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to live with her and her funnybone.”

In addition to her peers, Marshall had a great influence on younger generations. Film critic Leonard Maltin celebrated the memorable films she made “a generation before the current crop of female directors.” One of those directors, Ava DuVernay, thanked Marshall “for the trails you blazed.” Desus Nice of Desus & Mero toasted Laverne of Laverne & Shirley as “a [Bronx] legend.”

Check out those and more celebrity reactions below.

Related content:

Previous Penny Marshalls legacy: A look back at her best film and television contributions
Next Penny Marshall, star of <em>Laverne & Shirley</em> and director of <em>Big</em>, dies at 75

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