“You had to learn what sarcasm was,” Marshall told CNN in 2012 while promoting the book.
Marshall’s role as outspoken tomboy Laverne DeFazio in the “Happy Days” spin-off “Laverne & Shirley” catapulted the actress to celebrity in the late ’70s. Her gift for physical comedy helped earn her accolades, including three Golden Globe nominations.
The show — co-starring Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, Laverne’s co-worker in a 1950s Milwaukee brewery — ran for eight seasons, from 1976 to 1983.
She began her directing career by helming episodes of TV series before landing her first feature-film directing job with the 1986 Whoopi Goldberg action-comedy “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” With her second film, “Big,” starring Tom Hanks, Marshall became the first woman to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million.
She repeated that success in 1992 with the film “A League of Their Own,” which chronicled a women’s baseball league in the 1940s and featured an all-star cast that included Geena Davis and Madonna.
“I’m not an articulate person, but I have a strange combination of insecurity and fearlessness,” Marshall once told CNN.
She also directed the films “Awakenings” with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams; “Renaissance Man” with Danny DeVito; “Riding in Cars with Boys” with Drew Barrymore; and “The Preacher’s Wife,” a remake of the 1947 film, starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.
Marshall was married twice. She had a daughter, Tracy, from her first marriage.
Her second marriage was to actor and director Rob Reiner, who grew up across the street from her in New York City.
“It was a very wide street,” Marshall once joked to CNN.
On Tuesday, following news of Marshall’s death, Reiner wrote in a statement posted to social media: “I loved Penny. I grew up with her. She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her.”
A celebration of Marshall’s life will be held at a later date to be announced, the family said.
Marshall is survived by her older sister, Ronny; daughter, actress Tracy Reiner; and three grandchildren.
“We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true,” Bega said.