Brow Beat

Hollywood (and Major League Baseball!) Pays Tribute to A League of Their Own Director Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall smiles.
Director Penny Marshall in 2005.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Penny Marshall, the director of Big, A League of Their Own, and more, has died, the Los Angeles Times has confirmed. A spokesperson for Marshall’s family said that her death on Monday was the result of complications from diabetes. She was 75.

Marshall first rose to fame acting on Laverne & Shirley, the Happy Days spinoff created by her brother, the late Garry Marshall. Her knack for physical comedy helped earn her three Golden Globe nominations playing tomboy Laverne DeFazio for eight seasons, from 1976 to 1983. Marshall made her feature film directorial debut, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, in 1986, but it was her second movie, Big, that found major success as the first female-directed film to bring in more than $100 million at the box office. Over a directing career spanning three decades, she helmed the Oscar nominee Awakenings, The Preacher’s Wife, and Riding in Cars with Boys.

On social media, news of Marshall’s death was met with remembrances from actors and filmmakers who worked with her, including her ex-husband Rob Reiner.

Tributes also poured in from baseball fans, coaches, and the Hall of Fame in a nod to Marshall’s A League of Their Own, starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell.

“RIP Penny Marshall. You were a light in this world,” wrote Justine Siegal, who in 2009 became the first female coach of an MLB team. “Your movie A League of Their Own honored the women of the [All-American Girls Professional Baseball League] and inspired others to play baseball. You made a difference. Thank you.”

We’ve rounded up other tributes to Marshall from friends, colleagues, and admirers below. We will update this post with more as they come in.