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Directing Brilliance

The number of women to helm a major Hollywood motion picture are few, and today, are now sadly fewer.

As the first women to direct a film grossing over $100 million, Penny Marshall blazed trails for women in the late 1980s with such blockbuster hits as Big, A League of Their Own, Awakenings and many more. She shook up the face and sensibilities of Hollywood, leaving an indelible mark on this industry, but that was only part of her remarkable accomplishments.

With her years in front of the camera, within television and films, she also broke ground on new trails for women in comedy. Fiercely independent, Penny was not one to ride her notable brother's coattails, she supported herself and her young daughter through odd jobs while she learned her craft. Frequently cast as "Plain Girl," or "Quirky Girl," or even "Fast Girl," in her early days, she rose to stardom via her comedic brilliance. Her timing and delivery were spot-on. As a household name, she re-defined what Hollywood demanded of leading women within television and film, reaching generations of audiences with her genuine talent — in front of and behind the camera.

Director and actress Penny Marshall defied the Hollywood system and carved a brilliant trail for women actors and directors to advance upon. Today, we've lost a giant!

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