On Tuesday, Penny Marshall passed away at 75, due to complications from diabetes. The actor, director, and comedian had a lengthy career that spanned decades — and cemented her as a legend in the entertainment industry. Her sudden death sent shockwaves through the Hollywood community, with countless celebrities coming forward to fondly remember her life and lasting legacy.
The Simpsons executive producer and writer Al Jean wrote a Twitter post to remind fans that, 30 years ago, Penny Marshall was the very first guest star the long-running show ever had. He shared a picture of her character on the show, facing off against a very angry (and very tied-up) Bart and Lisa Simpson.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay posted a sweet tribute to Marshall, who paved the way for female directors in Hollywood with her beloved A League of Their Own, Big, and Awakenings.
“Thank you Penny Marshall,” she wrote on Twitter. “For the trails you blazed. For the laughs you gave. For the hearts you warmed.”
Popular news anchor and journalist Dan Rather shared a somber Twitter post that celebrated Marshall’s profound impact on art and culture.
“Mourning the loss of a funny, poignant, and original American voice,” he tweeted. “Penny Marshall was a pioneer in television and the big screen who understood humor comes in many forms and some of life’s deeper truths require a laugh. She will be missed. May she RIP.”
Others shared their sorrow and fond memories with GIFs and images from Marshall’s most popular work, including the iconic television show that propelled her to fame, Laverne & Shirley.
Fellow director and Hollywood legend Albert Brooks also took to Twitter to offer condolences, saying, “R.I.P. Penny Marshall. So talented and funny. A big loss.”
And The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik also paid tribute to the late comedian, crediting her with inspiring Balik to hone her own comedic talents.
I grew up wanting to be as funny as Penny Marshall, and had the pleasure of meeting her a few times. Watch some old Laverne and Shirley to see why her brother Garry insisted on casting her. Comedy gold, she was. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/DhP10j7m8s— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) December 18, 2018
Film critic Leonard Maltin, meanwhile, celebrated the tremendous impact Marshall has had on film — both in front of, and behind, the camera.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
Marshall had a lengthy and tremendously successful Hollywood career, directing box office smashes and critically acclaimed films. Her work on Laverne & Shirley cemented her place in the public eye, and continues to inspire generations of actors and comedians. She is survived by her adult daughter Tracy Reiner, who she shares with ex-husband, director Rob Reiner.