The Cinematic World Says Goodbye to an Important Woman
Penny Marshall dies at 75 years old after facing complications with her diabetes on December 17, 2018.
For the first time ever, Penny Marshall, who had a successful career bringing people smiles both on the screen and off, has left her fans in tears. One of the highest-grossing female directors in Hollywood, Marshall has established a legacy for many young auteurs to follow that will go beyond her death.
Not only did she make grand leaps for women in filmmaking, but she reminded the world that you don’t have to be a kid to laugh at the simple things.
Most famous for her hit, Big, Marshall went on to become the first woman filmmaker to make over $100 million at the box office. The film starring Tom Hanks, is a well-loved and comical tale about a boy who simply wishes to grow up without understanding the complications that come with being an adult. Josh Baskin (David Moscow) is a twelve-year-old who one day finds himself as a thirty-year-old man (Tom Hanks). He then goes on a long, at times traumatizing, and complicated journey of working a low-paying job at a toy factory. Realizing that the ‘big’ life isn’t for him, the boy must then do everything he can find his youth again.
As if this record-setting accomplishment weren’t enough, Marshall also went on to direct A League of Their Own, which also grossed more than $100 million at the box office. Why be satisfied with one incredible feat, when you can have two, right? Defying gender norms and expectations, A League of Their Own demonstrates that everything men can do, women can do better. Taking place during World War II, the film explores a world where men are scarce, but sports are still in high demand. The solution? The rise of a professional female baseball league. Bringing together social commentary and humor, Marshall created a film that was not only fun to watch, but inspirational to young girls who love sports everywhere.
Marshall wasn’t only admired for her directing prowess, but also her comedy chops as an actress. Casted by her brother on the ABC show Laverne & Shirley, Penny proved that she was an entertainment force to be reckoned with—actually no, enjoyed. Playing Laverne DeFazio, her smile and comedic abilities brought the character to life. Not only was her character incredibly humorous, but Marshall was able to bring a new depth to hysterical television. We laughed at Laverne, we laughed with Laverne, and we cried with Laverne…There is more to comedy than stupidity. Although, Marshall stated the opposite when explaining the show’s success.
“We dared to be stupid” – Penny Marshall
There will forever be a Big gap in our hearts. You will be missed Penny Marshall.