Marshall become widely known for her starring turn in Laverne & Shirley, where she starred for 178 episodes from 1976 to 1983.
She was born Carol Penny Marshall in NY in 1943.
Penny Marshall, the celebrated director of beloved films like Big and A League of Their Own, has died.
As a director, "She knew what comedy was, knew what great acting was, and she put the focus on the work". Her family wrote in a statement, "Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall".
A Bronx native, Marshall became a dedicated Los Angeles Lakers fan, and a courtside regular.
Marshall published her memoir, My Mother Was Nuts, in 2012 and appeared in an episode of the comedy series Portlandia.
Marshall's older brother, Garry Marshall, was a well-known filmmaker and producer.
"It was a very wide street", Marshall once joked to CNN.
She previously had a daughter, Tracy, after a teenage romance with a football player at the University of New Mexico, but that union, too, ended in divorce.
"Her legacy really was one of a woman who touched every corner of Hollywood - TV, film, and both on screen and behind the camera", Lauren Zima, anchor of ET Live, told CBSN on Tuesday. "That was sort of an omen for the whole marriage".
Her mother Marjorie was a tap school teacher, and little Penny began taking lessons at age 3. It wasn't that much of a stretch. That led to several appearances on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.More news: Virgin Galactic sends tourist rocket into space for first time
An Albuquerque Journal story from 1967 shows that Marshall, who was affiliated with the Litka School of Music and Dance, produced a show called "New York in Dance" that was performed in the auditorium of St. Vincent's Academy, then located at Sixth and Lomas.
Kaprall worked as a writer and producer on "Laverne and Shirley", the "Happy Days" spin off starring Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams that became the no. 1 show on TV for two years. Marshall is also survived by her older sister, Ronny, and three grandchildren.
Geena Davis, who starred in Marshall's 1992 film A League of Their Own, thanked the late director for her role in the film.
Being pegged as the ugly duckling was devastating.
Tributes from the world of entertainment poured in following news of Marshall's death. "She will be missed!" he said in a statement. They just don't understand you yet.
Marshall went on to direct such flicks as "Big", "Awakenings" and "A League of Their Own".
"She did commercial movies at a time when women weren't doing studio films. Hanks" reprimand "There's no crying in baseball", from "A League of Their Own", remains quoted on baseball diamonds everywhere.
Hallin is now retired and lives in Studio City, California, according to her Facebook page. Basinger noted that the environment was and remains largely biased against female directors. "May she Rest in Peace". Love to her family, friends & our town.
"She was a comedic natural with a photographic memory and an instinct for slapstick".
And then she kind of disappeared.
Big is a body swap comedy in the classic mold - many films from Freaky Friday to 13 Going On 30 have repeated its essential formula to varying degrees of success.