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Penny Marshall, famed actress and comedian, dead at 75

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By Janelle Griffith

Penny Marshall, who rose to fame as Laverne in the 1970s sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” and evolved into a powerhouse director, has died at age 75.

Marshall died Monday night at her home in Los Angeles due to complications from diabetes, according to her publicist, Michelle Bega.

Marshall became a household name as blue-collar beer factory worker Laverne in the sitcom, which aired from 1976 to 1983.

She broke ground as the first female director to gross $100 million with “Big” in 1988,” which starred Tom Hanks.

Penny Marshall in a publicity photo for “Laverne & Shirley” from 1975.ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

She also directed and executive produced “A League of Their Own,” also starring Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna. “A League of Their Own” was the second of her films to surpass the $100 million mark.

Her other directing credits include “Renaissance Man,” starring Danny DeVito, Gregory Hines, and Mark Wahlberg in his first feature film role; “The Preacher’s Wife,” which starred Whitney Houston opposite Denzel Washington and “Riding in Cars with Boys.”

The Marshall family said in a statement: “Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall.”

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