It was later revealed that she did have cancer, and her personal struggle will be one of the many topics covered in her new memoir. IT suits her rumpled looks, her woebegone manner, her part mumble, part screeching, subway train of a voice. “When I’m working, I’m obsessively working,” she says.By 1971, after several years in Los Angeles, Marshall landed a recurring role as secretary Myrna Turner on .Marshall joined the actress Cindy Williams in playing Laverne De Fazio and Shirley Feeney, respectively, double dates of Fonzie and his pal.And in October, a difficult year hit bottom with the death of her close friend of nearly three decades, That Girl star Ted Bessell.Marshall is no stranger to heartbreak, including the end of her marriage to Rob Reiner in 1981 and the loss, two years later, of her mother, Marjorie, following a battle with Alzheimer’s.Audiences responded so enthusiastically to the wisecracking women that Garry Marshall created a spin-off series based on their characters., a sitcom chronicling the lives of two women working in a Milwaukee brewery, ran from 1976 to 1983 and became a big hit with audiences. Besides the obvious roles played by Garry and Penny (who directed some episodes in addition to starring in the show), mom Marjorie wrote music for the sitcom, and dad Tony played Penny's brewery boss, Mr. "The Marshall family business works because the Marshalls are a family in business together," sister Ronny Hallin said, explaining the family's successful collaborations."We each make up for the others' weaknesses."Penny Marshall married the actor and director Rob Reiner in 1971, when he was 23 and she was 27.
“Not many male directors can say they’ve done that,” observes longtime pal Carrie Fisher. It’s the kind of movie that fans and detractors agree Marshall really knows how to make: a heart-yanking, life-affirming crowd-pleaser. Last winter’s shoot was plagued by blizzards in New York and an unseasonable warm spell that made soup of an ice-skating set in Maine. ’ She almost had walking pneumonia.” Whitney Houston, who has the title role, says, “Penny has the stamina of a horse. She was the strongest of us all.” At times, though, the world seemed to be crashing down around her movie. Y., an apartment-building fire across from the church where she was filming killed two children.
When Reiner's role as Meathead on , which cast Geena Davis, Rosie O' Donnell and Madonna as players in a short-lived women's professional baseball league, also grossed more than 0 million, making Marshall the first woman with two such blockbusters to her credit. "I like what moves me."After directing the 2001 Drew Barrymore film , Marshall mostly turned her energy toward producing and acting in cameo roles.
Marshall's films have tended to pull on the heartstrings, a style that some critics have dismissed as corny emotional manipulation. She is an avid collector of sports memorabilia and holds season tickets to both of Los Angeles' pro basketball teams, the celebrity-magnet Lakers and the less-glamorous Clippers.
Her father, Tony Marshall—born Masciarelli—now 90, was an industrial filmmaker.
Her mother taught dance and ran a studio for child hoofers in their apartment house basement.