US actress Penny Marshall, who starred in Laverne & Shirley before becoming one of the top-grossing female directors in Hollywood, has died aged 75.
Mashall’s publicist, Michelle Bega, said she passed away in her Los Angeles home on Monday due to complications from diabetes.
Marshall starred alongside Cindy Williams in the hit US comedy Laverne & Shirley, which aired from 1976 to 1983.
As a filmmaker, she became the first woman to direct a movie that grossed more than $US100 million with Big, the 1988 comedy starring Tom Hanks.
She also directed A League Of Their Own, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Awakenings.
The Marshall family said in a statement: “Our family is heartbroken.”
A Bronx native, Marshall became a dedicated Los Angeles Lakers fan, and a courtside regular.
Her brother Garry Marshall, who died in 2016, was also one of Hollywood’s top comedy directors.
Penny Marshall was married to Michael Henry for two years in the 1960s and to actor and director Rob Reiner from 1971-1981.
Their daughter Tracy Reiner is an actress. Marshall is also survived by her older sister, Ronny, and three grandchildren.
Reiner paid tribute to his former wife, saying on Twitter: “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.”
Robert De Niro, who appeared in Awakenings, said: “Penny will be missed. May she rest in peace.”
Bette Midler also remembered Marshall, saying: “The Marshall family grieves again as the great Penny Marshall dies at age 75. What an extraordinary family they were and continue to be, and how much love and sympathy my family and I send their way. The end of an era.”