Actress and filmmaker Penny Marshall was found dead on Monday night. She was 75. During her six decades in Hollywood, Marshall starred in the beloved sitcom Laverne & Shirley and directed classic films such as Big, Awakenings, and A League of Their Own. As a result, many celebrities have taken to Twitter to pay their respects and discuss the influence that Marshall had of their careers.
Actress Olivia Munn paid tribute to Marshall by recounting how much ground she broke as a female director. “Penny Marshall was one of the most important trailblazers,” she tweeted. “Her comedic talents brought success & fame, but she truly broke the mold w/ her directing- Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own– becoming the first woman to direct a movie that grossed $100+ mil. Rest in love, PM.”
Many Celebrities Praised Marshall’s Comedic Work As an Actress & Writer
Elizabeth Banks, another actress and director, wrote: “I loved her SO MUCH. Sending love to her family.” Comedians Patton Oswalt and Johnny Taylor, Jr. praised Marshall’s contributions to the sitcom format and comedy in general.
“NO! Goddamit,” Oswalt wrote. “I had the good fortune to be directed by her once and she was sharp and smart and hilarious. And A League Of Their Own still holds up. What an amazing talent.” Taylor, Jr. added: “Penny Marshall was such an important comedic voice and an amazing actress and filmmaker. She was also a huge hoops fan. Rest easy.”
Others Shared Their Experiences Working Alongside Marshall On Her Films
“Penny Marshall brought us great laughter and truly broke new ground as a director,” wrote actor George Takei. “Neither a schlemiel, nor ever a schlimazel, she shall be missed by her many fans. Rest in peace.”
Russell Crowe also recounted what it was like to work alongside Marshall, who was a producer on his 2005 film Cinderella Man. “Yesterday I held a Golden Gloves award from the 1930’s, given to me by Penny Marshall,” he wrote. “Hadn’t seen it in years. Then today’s news… Penny told me the story of Jim Braddock, which became the movie Cinderella Man. She was kind, she was crazy,so talented and she loved movies. RIP.”
Filmmakers Like Ava DuVernay & Elizabeth Banks Thanked Marshall for Her Groundbreaking Directorial Career
Film critic Leonard Maltin offered similar praise, writing: “A generation before the current crop of female directors Penny Marshall made such memorable films as Big, A League of Their Own and Awakenings. Let her not be forgotten.”
Ava DuVernay, who recently became the first woman to direct a $100 million dollar movie with A Wrinkle In Time, tweeted that Marshall was an inspiration. “Thank you, Penny Marshall,” she wrote. “For the trails you blazed. The laughs you gave. The hearts you warmed.” Check out additional reactions from James Woods and Rosie O’Donnell, both of whom worked with Marshall, below.
Actors Sean Astin and William Shatner also shared their experiences working alongside Marshall. “I got to stay up late-after Happy Days-2 watch Laverne & Shirley,” Astin wrote. “So sad 2 learn that Penny Marshall has passed. Sitting on a sit-com set 40 years later, thinking about milk & pepsi, rodeo-doh-doh-doh & so many of her brilliant moments. Love to her family, friends & our town…” Shatner added: “Condolences to the family of Penny Marshall. She was a true treasure!”
Learn more about Marshall and the circumstances surrounding her death below.