Legendary actor and director Penny Marshall is survived by her 80-year-old sister, Ronny Marshall Hallin, who is a retired TV producer. Penny Marshall, who starred as Laverne on “Laverne & Shirley” and directed movies like “Big” and “A League of Their Own,” died on December 17 at the age of 75 of complications from diabetes.
Hallin said she and other family members were by Penny’s side when she passed away “very peacefully” at her home in California. Hallin said that her sister had told her she knew that her TV role would always be what she was most remembered for. “‘No matter how many movies I direct, I’ll always be Laverne,'” Hallin said she would say. Hallin told Page Six, “it was fine with her.”
Here’s what you need to know about Ronny Marshall Hallin:
1. Ronny Marshall Hallin, Who Is 5 Years Older Than Her Sister, Grew Up in New York as the Daughter of a Tap Dance Teacher & Film Producer Before Studying at Northwestern
Ronelle Marshall was born in the Bronx, New York, as the middle of three children of Marjorie Marshall, a tap dance teacher, and Tony Marshall, a film director and producer. She is five years older than her sister, Penny Marshall, and four years younger than her late brother, Garry Marshall.
After graduating from Evander Childs High School in New York, Ronny Marshall studied at Northwestern University in Illinois before following her brother, mother and father into the show business world.
“Mother used to pull us out of school to see Broadway matinees. Tickets were $2.90, and we used to sit in the back row,” Hallin told the Rock Island Dispatch-Argus in 2011. “She just loved to dance. Her wish was for one of us to love it as much as she did. We all took lessons, ballet. We would go entertain at old folks’ homes, any place that would have us. We danced for food. She had a strong influence on being in show business. And Dad was an industrial film producer. He worked with my brother.”
Hallin is now retired and lives in Studio City, California, according to her Facebook page.
2. She Was a Producer on Several TV Shows, Including ‘Step by Step,’ ‘Perfect Strangers,’ ‘Family Matters,’ ‘Happy Days’ & ‘Laverne & Shirley’
Ronny Hallin was a producer with Nice Productions, working on several successful TV shows during her career, according to IMDB. She was an associate producer on “Laverne & Shirley,” the show created by her brother, Garry, starring Penny Marshall as the titular Laverne. The show was a spinoff of “Happy Days.”
She later worked as a producer for 88 episodes of “Happy Days,” before becoming a supervising producer on “Ypu Again” in 1986. Hallin was a coordinating producer on “Family Matters,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Valerie” and “Step by Step.”
Hallin also reunited with her sister in 2002 to produce the TV movie “Entertainment Tonight Presents: Laverne and Shirley Together Again.”
3. Hallin Also Appeared as an Actress & Worked in Other Roles on TV Show Crews
Like her sister and brother, Ronny Marshall Hallin also appeared in front of the camera during her lengthy career in Hollywood. She appeared as Verna Turner in an uncredited role on “The Codd Couple” in 1974, and was a guest star on her sister’s show, “Laverne & Shirley,” as Maxine, in 1982 on an episode titled “The Note.”
In 1991, she played a “biker customer” in “Frankie and Johnny,” was an airport cleaning lady in “Exit to Eden” in 1994 and was a mourner in “Raising Helen” in 2004.
Hallin also had several other roles in the TV business. She was a casting director on “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley,” was an assistant to the executive producer on both of those shows, and worked as a casting coordinator on “Mork & Mindy,” “Joanie Loves Chachi,” “The New Odd Couple,” “Happy Days” and “Larvene & Shirley.”
4. She Is Divorced & Has 3 Daughters, Wendy, Judy & Penny Lee
Ronny Marshall has been divorced from her husband, Larry Hallin, for several years. She has three adult daughters, Wendy, Judy and Penny Lee.
Hallin appeared on a 2015 episode of “Celebrity Family Feud,” playing on a team with her brother, Garry Marshall, sister, Penny Marshall, niece, Tracy Reiner, and nephew, Scott Marshall. The Marshall family defeated a team made up of members of Dr. Phil McGraw’s family.
5. Hallin Reunited With Her College Sweetheart in 1995 & They Dated Until His Death in 2015
In 1995, Ronny Marshall reunited with her college sweetheart, Peter Babcock, after more than 42 years apart, according to an article in The Rock Island Dispatch-Argus. The couple dated until 2015, when Babcock passed away.
According to the Dispatch-Argus, Marshall and Babcock dated while they were both students at Northwestern University in the 1950s. They separated when Babcock received his commission to the Navy in 1956. But 42 years later they found each other again.
“It was 1995, and I was sitting on my patio, talking to a friend about relationships and one I wished had gone a different way,” Hallin told the Dispatch-Argus in a 2011 interview. “He went into the service, and I was still in school. My friend said I should call him. I said, ‘It’s been 40 years. I called information and he answered the phone.”
In 1998, they went back to Chicago to visit Northwestern. “It was very romantic,” she said. The couple continued to spend time together, both in Illinois and in California. They appeared together as extras in movies created by Garry Marshall.