By John H. Foote
She was Laverne in the seventies to fans of the beloved Laverne and Shirley show, but she became a formidable film director by the end of the eighties.
Penny Marshall died today at just 75, far too young to be leaving us.
She directed three truly great films: Big (1988) which netted Tom Hanks his first Oscar nomination, Awakenings (1990) which was a Best Picture nominee, and the brilliant, Oscar snubbed A League of Their Own (1992).
Never nominated, shameful.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.