Penny Marshall, director, comic and former ‘Laverne & Shirley’ star, has died

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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Penny Marshall attends the SNL 40th Anniversary Celebration at Rockefeller Plaza on February 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

LOS ANGELES — Penny Marshall, the actress, comic and director, died Monday night in her Hollywood Hills home, according to TMZ.

The former star of “Laverne & Shirley” was 75.

TMZ says the cause of death was complications from diabetes.

Marshall’s first recurring TV role was Myrna Turner on “The Odd Couple,” which was directed by her brother, Garry. She also appeared with Cindy Williams on the TV show “Happy Days.” The two characters received their own spin-off series, “Laverne & Shirley,” in 1976.

Marshall played Laverne, who became known for her huge collection of monogrammed sweaters.

She went on to became a renowned director, which such movie hits as “Big,” “A League of Their Own,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and “Awakenings.”

“Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” the family said in a statement to TMZ. “Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family.”

Marshall was once married to Rob Reiner and once dated Art Garfunkle.  One of her closest friends was the late Carrie Fisher, with whom she shared a birthday. Marshall was godmother to Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd.

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