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Penny Marshall

Born and raised in the Bronx, Marshall made her television debut after moving to Hollywood in The Danny Thomas Hour, a drama anthology series. During the next several years, Marshall appeared in several small feature film and television roles, including recurring roles on Paul Sand's Friends and Lovers and The Odd Couple. An appearance with Cindy Williams in a segment of the series Happy Days introduced the characters of Laverne and Shirley, which spun off into their own landmark, long-running comedy series.

Off-Broadway, Marshall starred in a production of Eden Court with Ellen Barkin. Other television credits include three television movies and regular roles on Mork & Mindy, Taxi, The Bob Newhart Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Marshall has also worked on the other side of the television camera, directing episodes Laverne & Shirley and The Tracey Ullman Show, and a pilot called Working Stiffs, starring Jim Belushi and Michael Keaton.

Marshall made her feature film directorial debut with Jumpin' Jack Flash starring Whoopi Goldberg. Her next film, Big, starred Tom Hanks in a role that garnered him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Awakenings followed and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture and starred Robert De Niro (who earned an Oscar nomination for his performance) and Robin Williams. Inspired by the little known story of the All-American Girls professional baseball league of the 1940s, Marshall directed and executive produced A League of Their Own which starred Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna. The film later turned into a TV series for Tristar with Marshall directing the pilot episode and serving as Executive Producer. Under the banner of her production company, Parkway Productions, along with partner Elliot Abbott, Marshall executive produced the comedy Calendar Girl starring Jason Priestley.

Marshall also directed Renaissance Man starring Danny DeVito, Gregory Hines and Mark Wahlberg, The Preacher's Wife starring Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington and Columbia Pictures' Riding in Cars with Boys starring Drew Barrymore. She also developed and produced the Russell Crowe boxing drama Cinderella Man for Universal Pictures, directed by Ron Howard. Marshall occasionally takes cameo roles in other director's feature films, such as opposite her brother Garry in Hocus Pocus, playing a director herself in Get Shorty and in the Albert Brooks film, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Penny Marshall Facts

Birth NameCarole Penelope Masciarelli
OccupationDirector, Actress, Producer
BirthdayOctober 15, 1942 (81)
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Height5' 6" (1m68)  How tall is Penny Marshall compared to you?

Selected Filmography

A League Of Their Own
Riding in Cars with Boys
Renaissance Man
Explosive Diorama
Continue » Find more details on the Penny Marshall Movies page