Heart Failure Listed as Penny Marshall's Official Cause of Death

Penny Marshall's death certificate reveals her immediate cause of death was heart failure and that heart disease and complications from diabetes were subsequent underlying causes. The late actress and director's family initially said that she had died from complications relating to diabetes.

The death certificate, obtained by TMZ, lists heart failure as the primary cause of death.

The Laverne & Shirley star died on Dec. 17 in her Hollywood Hills home. She was 75.

Marshall was best known for starring as Laverne DeFazio opposite Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney on the Happy Days spinoff Laverne & Shirley. Following the success of the sitcom, she went on to become the first woman to direct a film that grossed over $100 million at the box office with Big, starring Tom Hanks. She did it again with A League of Their Own in 1992. She also directed the 1990 drama Awakenings, starring Robert De Niro and the late Robin Williams.

"Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall," Marshall's family said at the time of her death. "Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family."

"Yes she did (die) … peacefully at her Hollywood Hills home," her publicist Michelle Bega said. "She passed away from complications from diabetes."

"Penny was a girl from the Bronx, who came out West, put a cursive 'L' on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story," her family said in another statement, referring to the monogrammed wardrobe of Marshall's blue-collar protagonist, Laverne De Fazio.

Marshall had reportedly been battling serious health issues off and on since 2009 when she was diagnosed with lung cancer that spread to her brain.

Marshall was married to actor Rob Reiner for 10 years until their divorce in 1981. The two were star-crossed lovers of sorts, growing up across the street from each other in the Bronx, but never meeting until years later.

"When Rob Reiner and I were children, we lived across the street from each other. We never met because the Grand Concourse was a busy street, and we were too young to cross it," Marshall told The Post in 2012.


"He went to PS 8, I went to 80. He moved when he was 7. His father, Carl, was one of the stars on Your Show of Shows, and he was the most famous person in the neighborhood. He was also known for giving out the best Halloween candy," she said.

At the time of her death, Marshall's family said plans for a "celebration of life" would be announced at a later date. She is survived by her older sister Ronny, her daughter, Tracy, and three grandchildren — Spencer, Bella and Viva.