Penny Marshall

Actress / Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In the two-hour, solo portion of her Archive interview, Penny Marshall (1943-2018) talks about her childhood, which included appearing as a child dancer on many shows, and her early acting career which included a Head & Shoulders commercial with Farrah Fawcett, and being considered to play "Gloria Bunker" opposite then-husband Rob Reiner on All in the Family  before Sally Struthers was cast. She describes playing "Myrna Turner" opposite Jack Klugman and Tony Randall for her brother, executive producer Garry Marshall's show, The Odd Couple. She recalls being cast as "Laverne DeFazio" opposite Cindy Williams as "Shirley Feeney" on Laverne & Shirley, and talks of various aspects of that show including the physical comedy, the writing, its popularity, and Williams leaving before the run was over. Marshall discusses her career as a feature film director which included directing "Big," "Awakenings," "A League of Their Own," "The Preacher's Wife," and "Riding in Cars with Boys." She speaks of her autobiography "My Mother Was Nuts," and concludes the solo portion of her interview with advice to aspiring actors and directors and discussing her legacy in the entertainment business. In the hour-and-a-half, joint portion of their Archive interview, Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall outline how they met and began writing together. They speak of how Laverne & Shirley  came about, and Williams' initial hesitancy to commit to the series. They chronicle the show's physical comedy bits, their on-screen chemistry, and their co-stars, including Michael McKean and David L. Lander as "Lenny" and "Squiggy." They detail various reunion shows, reuniting on the series Sam & Cat, and their friendship over the years. Amy Harrington conducted the interviews on August 7, 2013 in Hollywood, CA.

"Fred Silverman went to my brother and said, 'Got any spin-offs?' He didn't, but he said, 'Well, there's these two girl bottle cappers in Milwaukee from 'Happy Days'…' 'Good, let's do it!' That was around Thanksgiving. We went to work in December and 'Laverne & Shirley' was on the air in January, the number one show on television."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Penny Marshall on doing physical comedy on Laverne & Shirley
Penny Marshall on being considered to play "Gloria Bunker" on All in the Family
Penny Marshall on directing the feature "Big"
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on their chemistry on Laverne & Shirley
Penny Marshall on her proudest achievement and biggest regret 
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on appearing on early television dance shows; on television she watched growing up and her early acting career
On being considered to play "Gloria Bunker" on All in the Family; on appearing on Then Came Bronson and getting the part of "Myrna Turner" on The Odd Couple; l on working with Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple; on guest-starring on The Bob Newhart Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Saturday Night Live
On auditioning actresses to play "Shirley Feeney" on Laverne & Shirley; on the character of "Laverne DeFazio" on Laverne & Shirley;  on doing physical comedy on Laverne & Shirley
On the writing on Laverne & Shirley; on Laverne & Shirley becoming the number one show on television; on directing episodes of Laverne & Shirley
On Cindy Williams leaving Laverne & Shirley and the end of the show; on guest-starring on several series after the end of Laverne & Shirley; on working with her brother Garry Marshall
On appearing in the made-for-television movie Love Thy Neighbor with John Ritter; on what she liked about acting

Chapter 2

On directing the feature "Jumpin' Jack Flash"; on learning the process of directing feature films; on directing the features "Big," "Awakenings," "A League of Their Own," and "Renaissance Man"
On directing the features "The Preacher's Wife," "Riding in Cars with Boys," and dealing with 9/11; on filming a documentary about Dennis Rodman; on various episodes television episodes; on how being an actress helped her as a director
On her autobiography "My Mother Was Nuts"; on what draws her to directing a project; on how celebrity has affected her
On what fans would be surprised to know about her; on then-current television she watches; on her proudest achievement and biggest regret; on her legacy in the entertainment business 

Chapter 3

START OF JOINT INTERVIEW WITH CINDY WILLIAMS: on how they met; on writing together; on how Laverne & Shirley came about; on introducing the characters of "Laverne DeFazio" and "Shirley Feeney" on Happy Days and the first episode of Laverne & Shirley
On Cindy Williams' New York accent on the early episodes of Laverne & Shirley; on the various elements of Laverne & Shirley
On the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley; on their chemistry on Laverne & Shirley
On the similarities between "Laverne DeFazio" and "Shirley Feeney" and themselves and the male guest stars of Laverne & Shirley; on the cast of Laverne & Shirley
On the atmosphere on the set of Laverne & Shirley; on working with Garry Marshall on Laverne & Shirley; on the theme song and opening credits to Laverne & Shirley
On Laverne & Shirley changing its setting to Hollywood; on the merchandising of Laverne & Shirley

Chapter 4

On the Laverne & Shirley animated series; on doing promotion for Laverne & Shirley; on doing Laverne & Shirley reunion shows
On their favorite episodes of Laverne & Shirley; on the legacy of Laverne & Shirley; on reuniting on the series Sam & Cat, and their friendship over the years
Shows

All in the Family

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Penny Marshall on being considered to play "Gloria Bunker" on All in the Family

Bob Newhart Show, The (1972-78)

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Penny Marshall on guest-starring on The Bob Newhart Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Happy Days

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Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on introducing the characters of "Laverne DeFazio" and "Shirley Feeney" on Happy Days

Laverne & Shirley

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Penny Marshall on auditioning actresses to play "Shirley Feeney" on Laverne & Shirley
Penny Marshall on the character of "Laverne DeFazio" on Laverne & Shirley
Penny Marshall on doing physical comedy on Laverne & Shirley
Penny Marshall on the writing on Laverne & Shirley
Penny Marshall on Laverne & Shirley becoming the number one show on televison
Penny Marshall on directing episodes of Laverne & Shirley
Penny Marshall on Cindy Williams leaving Laverne & Shirley and the end of the show
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on how Laverne & Shirley came about
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on Cindy Williams' initial hesitancy to appear on Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the first episode of Laverne & Shirley and early reaction to the show
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on Cindy Williams' New York accent on the early episodes of Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on how the characters of "Laverne DeFazio" and "Shirley Feeney" changed in the transition from Happy Days to Laverne & Shirley and the wardrobe and set design of the show
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on working on the set of Laverne & Shirley and how "milk and pepsi" came about
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on what they brought to Laverne & Shirley from their own lives and the dancing on the show
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley 
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the writing of Laverne & Shirley and their favorite physical bits from the show
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on rehearsing the physical bits for Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on their chemistry on Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the similarities between "Laverne DeFazio" and "Shirley Feeney" and themselves and the male guest stars of Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on working with Michael McKean and David L. Lander as "Lenny" and "Squiggy" on Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on Eddie Mekka as "Carmine 'The Big Ragu' Ragusa" on Laverne & Shirley 
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on Phil Foster as "Frank DeFazio" on Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the atmosphere on the set of Laverne & Shirley 
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on working with Garry Marshall on Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the theme song and opening credits to Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on Laverne & Shirley changing its setting to Hollywood
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the merchandising of Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the Laverne & Shirley animated series
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on doing promotion for Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on doing Laverne & Shirley reunion shows
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on their favorite episodes of Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the legacy of Laverne & Shirley 
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on reuniting on the series Sam & Cat
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on their friendship over the years

Odd Couple, The (1970-75)

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Penny Marshall on appearing on Then Came Bronson and getting the part of "Myrna Turner" on The Odd Couple
Penny Marshall on the character of "Myrna Turner" on The Odd Couple and getting comfortable in front of the camera
Penny Marshall on working with Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple
Penny Marshall on Rob Reiner guest-starring on The Odd Couple and working on Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers

Saturday Night Live

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Penny Marshall on appearing on Saturday Night Live

Then Came Bronson

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Penny Marshall on appearing on Then Came Bronson and getting the part of "Myrna Turner" on The Odd Couple
Topics

9/11

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Penny Marshall on directing the features "The Preacher's Wife," "Riding in Cars with Boys," and dealing with 9/11

Advice

View Topic
Penny Marshall on her advice to aspiring actors and directors

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Penny Marshall on the character of "Laverne DeFazio" on Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on how the characters of "Laverne DeFazio" and "Shirley Feeney" changed in the transition from Happy Days  to Laverne & Shirley  and the wardrobe and set design of the show

Fame and Celebrity

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Penny Marshall on how celebrity has affected her

Historic Events and Social Change

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Penny Marshall on directing the features "The Preacher's Wife," "Riding in Cars with Boys," and dealing with 9/11

Pop Culture

View Topic
Penny Marshall on the character of "Laverne DeFazio" on Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on how the characters of "Laverne DeFazio" and "Shirley Feeney" changed in the transition from Happy Days  to Laverne & Shirley  and the wardrobe and set design of the show
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on working on the set of Laverne & Shirley  and how "milk and pepsi" came about
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the theme song and opening credits to Laverne & Shirley

TV Theme Songs

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Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on the theme song and opening credits to Laverne & Shirley

Television Industry

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Penny Marshall on how celebrity has affected her
Penny Marshall on her advice to aspiring actors and directors
Professions

Actor

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Penny Marshall on what she liked about acting

Actress

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Penny Marshall on her advice to aspiring actors and directors
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on performing the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley

Performers

View Profession
Penny Marshall on what she liked about acting
Penny Marshall on her advice to aspiring actors and directors
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on performing the physical comedy of Laverne & Shirley
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Penny Marshall on playing "Myrna Turner" on The Odd Couple
Penny Marshall on playing "Laverne DeFazio" on Laverne & Shirley
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on starring on Laverne & Shirley (Part 1)
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on starring on Laverne & Shirley (Part 2)

Commercials

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Penny Marshall on her Head & Shoulders shampoo commercial with Farrah Fawcett

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Penny Marshall on appearing on Saturday Night Live

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Penny Marshall on appearing in the made-for-television movie Love Thy Neighbor  with John Ritter
People

Farrah Fawcett

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Penny Marshall on her Head & Shoulders shampoo commercial with Farrah Fawcett

Phil Foster

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Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on Phil Foster as "Frank DeFazio" on Laverne & Shirley

Jack Klugman

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Penny Marshall on working with Jack Klugman on The Odd Couple

David L. Lander

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Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on working with Michael McKean and David L. Lander as "Lenny" and "Squiggy" on Laverne & Shirley

Garry Marshall

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Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on working with Garry Marshall on Laverne & Shirley

Michael McKean

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Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall on working with Michael McKean and David L. Lander as "Lenny and Squiggy" on Laverne & Shirley

Rob Reiner

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Penny Marshall on Rob Reiner guest-starring on The Odd Couple  and working on Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers

Cindy Williams

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Penny Marshall on Cindy Williams leaving Laverne & Shirley  and the end of the show

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