- - Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Although Penny Marshall, who passed away last week, was better known for her role of Laverne DeFazio in the classic hit comedy TV program “Laverne & Shirley,” she did her best work and had her greatest impact and influence as a movie director.

The movies she directed, including “Big,” “A League of Their Own” and “Awakenings,” were not only critical successes but financial successes as well. Her movies were nominated for multiple Academy Awards and Golden Globes, with “Big” winning a Best Actor Award in the Comedy and Musical category at the Golden Globes. Ms. Marshall was also the first female director to gross more than $100 million at the box office for a single movie (“Big”).

Ms. Marshall helped pave the way for the success of other female directors, as she inspired countless women.

The U.S. had its Marshall Plan for helping Europe after World War II and Penny Marshall had her own Marshall plan for making movies a more enjoyable and entertaining experience. Her first name may have been Penny, but she was a million-dollar talent.

KENNETH L. ZIMMERMAN



Huntington Beach, Calif.

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