Penny Marshall’s Cause of Death Revealed, Report

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Penny Marshall's Cause of Death Revealed, Report
Penny Marshall's Cause of Death Revealed, Report

Penny Marshall died of heart failure caused by atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to E! and Us Weekly. The Blast published a copy of the death certificate, which was issued Monday by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.

Marshall’s body was cremated Dec. 26 and given to her sister, Ronny Marshall, the following day, according to the reports.

Marshall died Dec. 17 at age 75. Family spokeswoman Michelle Began confirmed at the time that the cause was complications from diabetes.

One of the most successful female film directors of all time, Marshall was responsible for “Big,” “Awakenings” and “A League of Their Own.” She also co-starred as Laverne DeFazio on the hit television series “Laverne & Shirley.”

Marshall spent much of the ’70s perfecting her comedy skills, starting off as Oscar’s woebegone secretary Myrna on “The Odd Couple.” After a somewhat similar stint as Mary’s new neighbor on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” she made a 1975 guest appearance with Cindy Williams on “Happy Days,” and a classic character was born.

For millions of Americans, she remains Laverne, the gravel-voiced, gangly Milwaukee brewery worker with the tough act, soft heart and the big “L” on her sweater. Easily riled and easily hurt, Laverne was the more down-to-earth realist to Shirley Feeney’s (Williams) boo-boo-kitty-loving idealist. They were vastly different but shared the same dream in their 1950s-set blue-collar sitcom: to find true love and a way out of that basement apartment.

“Laverne” ended in 1983, and for all intents and purposes, so did Marshall’s acting career. She seemed more comfortable behind the camera, making her big-screen directorial debut with the 1986 comedy “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and following it with “Big,” a breakout role for Tom Hanks in 1988, and “A League of Their Own,” which starred Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell as members of a World War II women’s baseball league.

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