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BRONX TIMES REPORTER, DECEMBER 28 2 -JANIARY 3, 2019 BTR
Penny and Garry Marshall in 1982. Associated Press
Penny Marshall, top-grossing
movie producer, Bronxite, 75
BY ALEX MITCHELL
Even though there’s no crying in
baseball, many tears have been shed
for the late Penny Marshall, who
passed away at the age of 75 on Monday,
The Bronx’s own actress, director
and producer was responsible for
the fi lms, ‘Big,’ ‘Awakenings,’ and of
course, ‘A League of Their Own,’ in
addition to many other classics.
Born Carole Penny Marshall on
Friday, October 15, 1943, she was
named after her mother Marjorie
Irene’s favorite actress, Carole
Lombard. Marshall spent her youth
growing up on the northern tip of
the Grand Concourse along with
her brother, Garry Marshall, whom
passed at the age of 81 in 2016.
Their 3235 Grand Concourse home
was just across from Mosholu Parkway
and Penny’s future spouse, actor
She spoke openly of her Bronx
upbringing, attending M.S. 80 at 149
E. Mosholu Parkway North, and her
relationship with Reiner in her 2012
memoir, ‘My Mom Was Nuts.’
“When Rob Reiner and I were children,
we lived across the street from
each other. We never met because the
Grand Concourse was a busy street,
and we were too young to cross it,”
Marshall wrote, later going on to
commend Reiner’s household for giving
out the best Halloween candy
Fortunately, Marshall’s career
lasted much longer than their ten-year
marriage which spanned 1971 to 1981.
After hearing of his ex-wife’s passing,
Reiner took to Twitter posting,
“I loved Penny. I grew up with her.
She was born with a great gift. She
was born with a funnybone and the
instinct of how to use it. I was very
lucky to have lived with her and her
funnybone. I will miss her.”
Reiner wasn’t her only Bronx connection
to Hollywood, though.
Early in her acting career, Marshall
starred in the television version
of fellow late Bronxite Neil Simon’s
‘The Odd Couple,’ as Myrna
Turner, Oscar Madison’s secretary.
Marshall even made an appearance
in the show’s 2016 re-boot as the
The original version of the TV
series was produced by her brother
Garry and Reiner made a guest appearance.
It was Garry that infl uenced
Penny to get involved on the other
side of the camera.
He directed ‘Pretty Woman,’ about
the same time that Penny had fully
switched gears towards directing in
the the early 1990s.
After becoming the fi rst woman
director to gross over $100 million at
the box offi ce with ‘Big’ in 1988, Marshall
would again call on the fi lm’s
star, Tom Hanks to manage the Rockford
Peaches in ‘A League of Their
Own’ in 1992.
That legendary baseball comedy
scored its way into the history books
when the United States National Film
Registry, run by the Library of Congress,
recognized it for being “culturally,
historically, or aesthetically
signifi cant” in 2012.
The last fi lm that Marshall directed
was the 2001 biography, ‘Riding
In Cars with Boys’ which starred
She continued producing until
2005, when her fi lm, ‘Cinderella Man’
received three Academy Award nominations.
Marshall never won an Oscar
throughout her illustrious career.
In 2010, Marshall was diagnosed
with lung cancer that eventually
spread to her brain. But fortunately
it went into remission allowing her
to complete her memoir.
If there’s anything that Penny
Marshall taught the world, it’s how
important laughter is.