After battling lung and brain cancer, the light-hearted and feisty actress/comedian Penny Marshall, 75, has passed away at her Hollywood Hills home. The cause of death was cited as complications from diabetes.
Best known as the sassy character Laverne -- from the television comedy series Laverne & Shirley -- who wore a giant cursive L emblazoned on her shirt, Penny also had a long list of other television and movie roles, some more well-known than others.
But one thing remains true – no one will ever forget the image of Penny, and her co-star Cindy Williams, skipping down the sidewalk, singing for the opening credits of Laverne & Shirley. She costarred as Milwaukee brewery worker Laverne De Fazio in this huge hit that spanned the '70s and '80s. Laverne and Shirley were cast as two 1950s working-class roommates who worked on the assembly line at the Shotz Brewery, which is where some hysterical TV scenes were filmed.
"Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall. Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family," her relatives shared in a statement.
Born Carole Marshall in the Bronx, Penny took dance lessons from her mom, Marjorie, who ran a tap-dancing school. As part of her mom's troupe of precision tap dancers, Penny appeared on Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour and The Jackie Gleason Show.