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Top Grossing Director Of 'Big' & 'A League Of Their Own' Passes Away At 75

In the hit film A League Of Their Own team manager Jimmy Duggan makes it clear that, “There’s no crying in baseball”.

But it’s likely tears will be shed this week for the film’s director, Penny Marshall, whose many movies broke records & helped skyrocket careers for the likes of Tom Hanks, Robert DiNiro, Robin Williams & more…

From the Los Angeles Times:

Penny Marshall, who costarred as a Milwaukee brewery worker in the top-rated 1970s and ’80s sitcom “Laverne & Shirley” before becoming a director of hit movies such as “Big” and “A League of Their Own,” has died. She was 75.

She got her start as ‘Lavern’ but it was in directing that she especially shined:

“Big,” a fantasy tale in which a boy wakes up in the body of an adult man played by Tom Hanks, earned Hanks an Oscar nomination and made Marshall the first female director in Hollywood history to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million.

Tom Hanks and Director Penny Marshall in

“Awakenings” (1990), a medical drama starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, came next. It received three Oscar nominations, including for best picture and actor in a leading role (for De Niro).

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Marshall went on to direct “A League of Their Own” (1992), “Renaissance Man” (1994), “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996) and “Riding in Cars with Boys” (2001).

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Hailing from The Bronx she identified as a Tomboy & loved sports. For A League Of Their Own she actually made sure the cast (including Madonna) knew how to play baseball & they trained for months before filming. In many of the scenes they’re playing real games & many of the injuries captured were real. Basketball was her clear favorite though…

Marshall had a documentary in post-production about former NBA superstar and recent international diplomat Dennis Rodman. “Rodman” is scheduled for release Sept. 1.

A dedicated sports fan — she had Lakers season tickets and a large collection of sports memorabilia — Marshall was known among longtime friends for being intensely loyal.

She could often be found court-side at the games with other familiar faces.

Director Penny Marshall talks with actor Brad Pitt

Film director Penny Marshall looks on from the sideline as NBA MVP Kobe Bryant warms up before game

NBA Finals Game 5: Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers

And in a move I’m sure plenty of us can relate to, she was pretty tough on herself.

She also has been described as a worrier, insecure and self-effacing.

Asked by a Times reporter in 1988 how deep her insecurities were, she joked: “I was born with a frown.”

“I always feel like somehow I’m going to be a failure,” she said in that interview. “I’m from the negativity and depression school. When I see bad reviews, I say, ‘Yeah, they’re probably right.’

Clearly Penny Marshall was far from a failure. On her IMDb page the lists go on & on from directing to producing to acting… Outside of the self deprecations she’s left a legacy of amazing stories behind for generations to enjoy. RIP to a legend.

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