Laverne & ShirleyLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 1/02/19 at 10:27AM EST
Norman Gimbel, who wrote the lyrics to the Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley theme songs, dies at 91
Gimbel and his longtime collaborator Charles Fox were best known for their Grammy-winning hit "Killing Me Softly With His Song." But they also collaborated on iconic TV theme songs like Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley, with Gimbel writing the lyrics while Fox composed the music.
Posted Wednesday 12/19/18 at 11:11PM EST
Michael McKean calls Penny Marshall "my friend, my coach, my comedy playmate"
After tweeting "I don't know what to say" upon learning of the death of his Laverne & Shirley co-star on Tuesday, McKean tweeted his thoughts nearly 24 hours later. "Let me put it this way: Penny was my friend, my coach, my comedy playmate," he tweeted. "I was awed by her clarity and her phenomenal instincts. She found the love at the center of the hurt and somehow found the funny along the way." ALSO: Jay Leno recalls playing Marshall's love interest on Laverne & Shirley.
Posted Wednesday 12/19/18 at 1:28PM EST
Laverne & Shirley's Cindy Williams reacts to co-star Penny Marshall's death
"What an extraordinary loss," Williams said in a statement released to the Today show. "My good friend, Penny Marshall is gone — one in a million. Utterly unique, a truly great talent. And, oh what fun we had! Can't describe how I'll miss her."
Posted Tuesday 12/18/18 at 8:38PM EST
As Laverne DeFazio on Laverne & Shirley, Penny Marshall picked up where Lucille Ball left off
Source: The Washington Post
It's pretty clear why Marshall, who died Monday at age 75, found success as a movie director following eight seasons on the classic sitcom Laverne & Shirley. "In directing movies, Marshall brought along what she learned from 178 episodes of sitcom predictability, which can, from another angle, be seen as a form of reliability," says Hank Stuever, in his tribute to Marshall. "The characters are easily understood, relatable and vulnerable. A funny person hides a little pain. A tough person is really a softy." He adds that Marshall's Laverne DeFazio was a natural heir to Lucille Ball's groundbreaking I Love Lucy character. "Outwardly Laverne was a proud broad: pencil skirts, tight sweaters (always monogrammed over the left breast with her trademark, a stylishly cursive 'L') and color-coordinated kerchiefs," says Stuever. "A competitive force to be reckoned with in the bowling alley, Laverne could put a dime in a jukebox and tear up the dance floor. Yet it was the character’s insecurities and tenderness that endeared Laverne (and Marshall) to viewers. For all her bravado, Laverne was easily deflated by embarrassment or loss. On a condensed timeline of TV history, Marshall and her co-star, Cindy Williams (as Shirley Feeney), essentially picked up where I Love Lucy’s Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance left all those chocolates strewn at the end of the conveyor belt. Marshall excelled at Ball’s type of physical comedy, ensuring Laverne would endure eight seasons of ludicrous bouts of overconfidence leading to humorous humiliation. Wrestling rings. Debutante balls. Modeling agencies. Lucy may have been funnier, but Laverne was stronger."
- Laverne's voice was nasal, boisterous, wheedling, teasing, sarcastic or playful: "Marshall played a whole repertoire on that brass instrument"
- Laverne Marie DeFazio was a rare role model: "a tough, independent woman who didn’t need no man"
- Laverne & Shirley changed how women were portrayed on TV, paving the way for Broad City, Insecure and The Golden Girls
- We have Marshall to thank for the popularity of the monogram
- Rob Reiner on ex-wife Penny Marshall: "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."
- Ron Howard, Marion Ross, Anson Williams and more Happy Days stars pay tribute to Marshall
- Fred Armisen had the perfect Penny Marshall impression
- MeTV to pay tribute to Marshall by airing her favorite Laverne & Shirley episodes starting on Sunday
Posted Tuesday 12/18/18 at 2:01PM EST
Penny Marshall dies: Laverne & Shirley star was 75
Source: New York Daily News
The Bronx-born actress and director died last night at her Hollywood Hills home from complications from diabetes, said her publicist Michelle Bega. Marshall was nominated for three Golden Globes for the role that made her famous: Laverne DeFazio on the ABC Happy Days spinoff Laverne & Shirley. For eight seasons, from 1976 to 1983, Marshall co-starred with Cindy Williams as best friends, roommates and co-workers at a brewery in 1950s Milwaukee on the sitcom co-created by older brother Garry Marshall. Marshall followed her sitcom career by directing hit films like Big and A League of Their Own. Marshall and Williams' reunited on screen in 2013 for the Nickelodeon sitcom Sam & Cat. Marshall was also The Simpsons' first guest-star, appearing as Ms. Botz, "The Babysitter Bandit," on the first season. Actors paid tribute to Marshall on Twitter. "I grew up wanting to be as funny as Penny Marshall, and had the pleasure of meeting her a few times," tweeted Mayim Bialik. "Watch some old Laverne and Shirley to see why her brother Garry insisted on casting her. Comedy gold, she was." Added Patton Oswalt: "I had the good fortune to be directed by her once and she was sharp and smart and hilarious." Rosie O'Donnell, whom Marshall directed in A League of Their Own, tweeted she was "simply heartbroken," linking to a video of a 1996 Kmart commercial they did together.