Actress and director Penny Marshall, whose love of sports made her a regular in the Los Angeles celebrity fan crowd and helped inspire her to direct “A League of Their Own,” died Monday night because of complications from diabetes, according to multiple reports Tuesday. She was 75. Born in the Bronx in 1943, Marshall first gained acclaim playing Laverne DeFazio, a character who first appeared on “Happy Days” and was one of the main protagonists of its spin-off, “Laverne & Shirley” in the 1970s and ’80s. While on “Laverne & Shirley,” Marshall took her first seat in the director’s chair, directing multiple episodes. Following the conclusion of the series, she turned her focus almost entirely to directing. Her film directorial debut came in 1986 with “Jumping Jack Flash” starring Whoopi Goldberg. Her next film, 1988’s “Big,” put her among the directorial elite. Four years later, she directed “A League of Their Own,” a fictional telling of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that was established during World War II. She was also a very well-known face at LA sporting events, holding courtside seats for both the Clippers and Lakers (though she cited the cost and her fear of the… Read full this story
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