Penny Marshall had two marriages — to high school boyfriend Mickey Henry and later to actor Rob Reiner — but she also had a serious romance with singer Art Garfunkel. Marshall dated Garfunkel on and off in the 1980s after her split from Reiner, and the “Scarborough Fair” singer has credited her with saving him when he was going through a dangerous depression after the suicide death of his longtime love, Laurie Bird.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Garfunkel, who went on to marry his wife of 30 years, Kim Cermak, talked about when he began “hanging out” with Penny Marshall in the 1980s.
“Everything changed,” Garfunkel said. “Penny is a sweet human being who can bring anybody down to earth.”
“She’s a great film director and actress who’s just so light and funny that she helped bring me out of myself. We had a million laughs, the sex was good and it got me out of my introversion. We’re still friends, but I’m a married guy now — my heart is elsewhere.’
Penny Marshall passed away on Dec. 17 at age 75 of complications from diabetes, according to Variety. Art Garfunkel has not yet issued a statement on the death of his former girlfriend, but it is clear from past interviews the two shared a special bond and a lifelong friendship. Marshall considered her relationship with Garfunkel a very important one, once telling the New Yorker, “I was married twice, and I was with Artie for five years.”
Penny Marshall gave Mark Wahlberg is first movie role, dated Art Garfunkle for years and began her acting career in a Head & Shoulders commercial opposite Farrah Fawcett. https://t.co/domF2E3OgS
— Matthew Belloni (@THRMattBelloni) December 18, 2018
Penny Marshall once recalled a night in the 1980s when the then-estranged Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon reunited during a night out with her best friend Carrie Fisher and sang together once again in Simon’s apartment.
“I didn’t even know they didn’t get along!” Marshall told USA Today. “I dated Artie, and Carrie dated Paul. We came back from dinner. I didn’t know their problems and that they didn’t speak. I was totally innocent. I asked them to play, and they did. And it was magical.”
Marshall eventually fell in love with Art Garfunkel and took a bike trip through Europe with him. Of the end of the whirlwind romance, Marshall said it simply “ran its course.”
“Artie liked to go for walks. He went out for the paper and ended up in New Jersey. Then he’d come back and pick up where he left off. He did show me the world.”
Indeed, Penny Marshall and Art Garfunkel maintained a friendship that even survived her 2012 tell-all memoir, My Mother Was Nuts.
“There was a book party,” Marshall told Vulture. “Artie and [his wife] Kim came. And Artie had come up before. He didn’t like the picture of him [in the book].”