Mark Wahlberg has hailed the late Penny Marshall “one of a kind”.
The ‘Laverne & Shirley’ star – who was the younger sister of the late writer, producer, and director Garry Marshall – passed away on Monday (17.12.18) after suffering complications from diabetes at the age of 75.
The 47-year-old actor has Penny to thank for launching his Hollywood career after she handed him his first major movie role as Private Tommy Lee Haywood in 1994 comedy ‘Renaissance Man’, alongside Danny DeVito (Bill Rago).
Speaking for the first time since the director-and-actress’ passing, Wahlberg told The Blast: “Oh God, Penny … I was thinking about how much Penny did for me and gave me my first acting job and everything she did for me,’ he reflected with a solemn tone.
“I thought about the long list of how many people she helped, found, discovered, inspired and took to another level.
“Love her and miss her, she was the best, she was one of a kind.”
When the ‘Mile 22’ star first heard the news, he wrote on Twitter: “Rest in peace, Penny. Such a wonderful, funny and talented lady. Without her support and encouragement, I would not be where I am today. She will be missed. #PennyMarshall (sic)”
A host of stars have paid tribute to Penny, including Rosie O’Donnell, Busy Philipps and Melissa Joan Hart.
Rosie shared the YouTube video for a K-Mart commercial she starred in alongside Penny.
Posting the video link on Twitter, the 56-year-old comedian wrote: “simply heartbroken #ripPENNY (sic)”
Whilst actress Busy tweeted: “Oh Penny Marshall. Rest In Peace and thank you for everything. (sic)”
Melissa took to Instagram to mourn the loss of the ‘A League of Their Own’ director, as she praised Penny for being a “special role model” to female comedians.
She captioned an old picture of Penny: “Heartbroken to learn that #PennyMarshall has passed away!! The Marshall family holds a special place in my heart for being so kind and creative and encouraging to other artists. But she was a special role model for female comedians like myself. #RIP #ThankYou (sic)”
‘Stranger Things’ actor Sean Astin also tweeted his condolences to Penny’s family and friends, as he said he was thinking of her “brilliant moments” whilst sitting on a sit-com set himself.
He wrote: “I got to stay up late-after Happy Days-2 watch Laverne & Shirley. So sad 2 learn that Penny Marshall has passed. Sitting on a sit-com set 40 years later, thinking about milk & pepsi, rodeo-doh-doh-doh & so many of her brilliant moments. Love to her family, friends & our town… (sic)”
Shortly after news of her passing broke, Penny’s family released a brief statement saying they were “heartbroken” by the loss.
They said: “Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall.”