7 fascinating facts about actress-director Penny Marshall

By Meghan Pryce

Published December 18, 2018

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Penny Marshall, who found fame as Laverne in "Laverne & Shirley," died Monday at age 75. Here are 7 facts you should know about her life.

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1. Her go-to beverage

According to her family, her favorite drink was Pepsi and milk mixed together, just like her character Laverne DeFazio.

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2. She's a trendsetter

Marshall's character wore monogrammed clothing way before it was cool -- with sweaters bearing a cursive "L."

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3. There were tension behind the scenes

"Laverne & Shirley" co-star Cindy Williams left the show before it ended in 1983. But after two decades of silence, the two actresses managed to patch things up.

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4. It runs in the family

Her brother was producer and director Garry Marshall, who directed a string of hit movies -- including "Pretty Woman" and "The Princess Diaries" -- and died in 2016.

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Before either one of them was well-known, Marshall also dated and married actor-director Rob Reiner, who grew up across the street from her in the Bronx.


5. She opened up about an unplanned pregnancy

Marshall made a difficult decision to have an abortion. "I didn't want to be tied to the kid's (biological) father," she once told CNN. "And that situation was one of my life's only big regrets."

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6. She's had a hand in some of your favorite films

Marshall directed beloved movies such as "Big" and "A League of Their Own."

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She also directed "The Preacher's Wife," a 1996 remake of an older film, starring Whitney Houston.

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7. She broke barriers

When Marshall directed the movie "Big," she became the first female director to have a film gross more than $100 million.