It’s been more than half a year since Penny Marshall died — but the Laverne & Shirley star’s memory is still going strong. This not only because of her epic Hollywood career, but also because of the pals she made along the way. Consider Rosie O’Donnell among those crediting Penny, who passed away at age 75 due to complications from diabetes, for leaving a lasting impact on their lives.
“She really helped me throughout my career,” the former The View cohost said of the three-time Golden Globe nominee in a stand-up set at Orange the New Black star Lea DeLaria‘s new bar/restaurant The Club in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Friday, July 5. “We were very close friends. We all miss her, don’t we?”
As for how exactly Penny assisted her, the SMILF star had to look no further than 1992’s A League of Their Own. The film, which tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) — the first of its kind, featured Rosie as third baser Doris Murphy. The iconic movie’s cast also includes Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty and Tom Hanks.
“I really think my role was bigger than it should have been because I was the only actress on the set of A League of Their Own that was able to understand Penny. She’d ask us if we could do some sort of baseball thing and the other girls would look at each other confused and I would just raise my hand and say, ‘I can do it!’ Penny would say, ‘OK, fiiine, Rosie again!'” the Harriet the Spy star said in her spot-on impression.
Though they wouldn’t star in anything else together, the two did professionally cross paths again. Penny was a guest on Rosie’s Emmy-winning talk show The Rosie O’Donnell Show numerous times throughout its 1996-2002 run. Upon hearing about her friend’s death in 2018, Rosie tweeted that she was “simply heartbroken.”
Even though she is gone, Penny is often on Rosie’s mind — especially recently when Blake, one of her five kids, recently saw A League of Their Own while at a friend’s house. “He has never seen it before and came home and said, ‘I saw you on TV and you were a teenager playing baseball?!'” Rosie joked in the comedy show.
This sounds like it was a friendship for the ages.