A League of Their Own director Penny Marshall passed away on 17 December at the age of 75.
She directed the 1992 sports dramedy with Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell alongside Geena Davis and Tom Hanks. Openly gay actresses Megan Cavanagh and Anne Ramsay also starred.
As an actress, Marshall was known for playing Laverne DeFazio on the hit ABC series Laverne & Shirley, created by her brother Garry Marshall.
The feminist film based on the story of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was also included in the National Film Registry for preservation in 2012.
Madonna’s sweet message to Marshall
When the news of Marshall’s death broke, many celebrities took to social media to pay tribute.
Madonna expressed her love for the director in an Instagram post. She also shared a throwback picture from the set of A League of Their Own, where she played ‘All the Way’ Mae Mordabito.
‘So Lucky to have known you and worked with you Penny Marshall!! Your Talent was as BIG as you Heart!’ the legendary singer wrote.
‘and you were a Trailblazer For Women In Hollywood! GOD BLESS you and your family!’ Madonna also said.
Rosie O’Donnell is ‘heartbroken’
Moreover, Rosie O’Donnell wrote on Twitter that she was ‘simply heartbroken’ by the news. She shared a commercial that she and Marshall worked on together for Kmart in 1996. O’Donnell played Doris Murphy in the 1992 movie and also impersonated Marshall in an episode of SNL.
— ROSIE (@Rosie) December 18, 2018
Lesbian actress Megan Canavagh also shared a message on her Twitter page.
I’m beyond sad that Penny Marshall is gone. I’m forever grateful to her. Penny, I love you. Love and strength to Tracy and her family. 💗
— real megan cavanagh (@megancavanagh8) December 18, 2018
‘I’m beyond sad that Penny Marshall is gone. I’m forever grateful to her. Penny, I love you. Love and strength to Tracy and her family,’ she wrote.
Tracy is the daughter of Marshall and When Harry Met Sally director Rob Reiner. The two had been married from 1971 to 1981.
An LGBTI ally, the director was also at the center of persistent lesbian rumors.
She was said to have been involved with the late Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, a close friend. In 2002, Fisher told Out she had a National Enquirer piece about the rumored relationship hanging on her fridge along with the quote: ‘We’re not lesbians, we’re loonies!’