Penny Marshall is an actress, directer and producer. Her first well-known role was as a guest appearance on Happy Days as LaVerne DeFazio. The character was so well liked that it started the successful spin off, Laverne & Shirley. What makes Penny Marshall a baddass in my book, however, is her career as a director.
Penny was the directer of Big (1988) starring Tom Hanks. Fun fact: Big was the first movie directed by a woman to gross more than $100 million at the domestic box office. She went on direct Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for Best Picture. Finally, she directed one of the best baseball movies of all time, A League of Their Own (1992).
A League of Their Own developed from a documentary of the same name, detailing the women’s baseball league that formed during WWII, and the movie just celebrated its 25th anniversary. My family and I like to rank movies, and one of our favorite go-to talking points is to Name the Best (insert sport) Movie. Best Baseball Movie is probably the most heated, with The Sandlot, Major League, Field of Dreams, and The Natural all being thrown out there… but you just can’t beat A League of Their Own. Even the original tagline is completely amazing – “This summer, Tom Hanks and the Rockford Peaches prove that a woman’s place is at home … first, second & third.” And because I have to:
Also, Dottie totally dropped the ball on purpose and nobody can convince me otherwise.
Finally. here’s a fantastic read on the movie’s 25th anniversary:
A League of Their Own Stands the Test of Time – espnW