Penny Marshall sadly passed at the age of 75 on Monday (Dec. 17), but not before touching the world in a significant way with her trailblazing work. Her publicist confirmed her death, saying that she lost her life due to complications related to diabetes, and a host of Hollywood heavyweights were quick to pay tribute.
The actress and director may be gone, but her memory will certainly live on forever. Stars who were touched by her work, from Tom Hanks to Olivia Munn and Madonna, have taken to social media to pay their respects to the comedian, who saw her big break on her first TV show Laverne & Shirleybefore taking the film industry by storm.
Veteran actor Tom was one of the first to reach out. He had the incredible opportunity to work with her on the hit film Big, leading her to become the first female director in history to helm a film that grossed over $100 million. She later did the same many more times. The 62-year-old actor wrote on Twitter: “Goodbye, Penny. Man, did we laugh a lot! Wish we still could. Love you. Hanx.”
Goodbye, Penny. Man, did we laugh a lot! Wish we still could. Love you. Hanx.— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) December 18, 2018
Penny directed another iconic film, A League of Our Own, which went on to make over $100 million, too. One of its stars, Rosie O’Donnell, took to Twitter to pay her respects, saying she was “simply heartbroken” over the loss. Rosie’s co-star, Madonna, also proudly called Penny a “Trailblazer For Women In Hollywood.”
Celebrated filmmaker Ava DuVernay poured her heart out for the powerhouse on Twitter, sharing a beautiful photo of the star posing beside a camera. The A Wrinkle in Timedirector wrote: “Thank you, Penny Marshall. For the trails you blazed. The laughs you gave. The hearts you warmed.”
Thank you, Penny Marshall. For the trails you blazed. The laughs you gave. The hearts you warmed. pic.twitter.com/7qPKJa6ApH— Ava DuVernay (@ava) December 18, 2018
Josh Gad, who voiced Olaf in Frozen, touched on her accomplishments as a woman in the industry, writing: “At a time when men dominated, #pennymarshall broke barriers as a director, giving us hit after hit.”
At a time when men dominated, #pennymarshall broke barriers as a director, giving us hit after hit. A League of their Own, Awakenings, & Big aren’t simply great movies. They r classics made by a director who was simultaneously setting up shots while breaking down walls. RIP— Josh Gad (@joshgad) December 18, 2018
Other celebrities like Rosanna Arquette, William Shatner, Danny DeVito, Bette Midler and more shared their thoughts with the world, mourning the loss of an incredible person.
Oh Rest In Peace dear Penny Marshall we have had many laughs through the years. This is very sad news.— Rosanna Arquette (@RoArquette) December 18, 2018
Yesterday I held a Golden Gloves award from the 1930’s, given to me by Penny Marshall.— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) December 18, 2018
Hadn’t seen it in years.
Then today’s news...
Penny told me the story of Jim Braddock, which became the movie Cinderella Man. She was kind, she was crazy,so talented and she loved movies. RIP
Penny Marshall was a loyal friend, a pioneer for women in film, and true supporter of women in the industry. Rest In Peace my friend. pic.twitter.com/UL2yAgbNUr— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) December 18, 2018
Condolences to the family of Penny Marshall. She was a true treasure! pic.twitter.com/BtM46dAnYq— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 18, 2018
Penny Marshall was a sweet woman. I was very fortunate to spend time with her. So many laughs. She had a heart of gold. Tough as nails. She could play round ball with the best of them. Always All love, D— Danny DeVito (@DannyDeVito) December 18, 2018
The Marshall family grieves again as the great #PennyMarshall 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.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) December 18, 2018
Penny Marshall brought us great laughter and truly broke new ground as a director. Neither a schlemiel, nor ever a schlimazel, she shall be missed by her many fans. Rest in peace.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 18, 2018
Penny Marshall was one of the most important trailblazers. Her comedic talents brought success & fame, but she truly broke the mold w her directing- Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own- becoming the first woman to direct a movie that grossed $100+ mil. Rest in love, PM ❤️— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) December 18, 2018