EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (FOX 9) - Hollywood trailblazer Penny Marshall is being remembered by stars and friends after she passed away from complications related to diabetes. The actor and director was 75 years old.
During the ‘70s and ‘80s, Bo Kaprall, show business veteran who calls Minnesota home, became friends with Marshall and her then-husband Rob Reiner, which landed him a job on the classic show "Laverne and Shirley."
"I thought she was great,” said Kaprall. “She was bigger than life. She knew what she wanted and she was very strong. She knew comedy. She was very funny."
Kaprall worked as a writer and producer on "Laverne and Shirley," the "Happy Days" spin off starring Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams that became the no. 1 show on TV for two years. He even appeared in front of the camera as Laverne DeFazio's boyfriend Officer Hughes after playing Marshall's boyfriend on another classic sitcom "The Odd Couple."
"As Garry Marshall said there weren't a lot of blue collar women on TV at the time and she and Cindy were just the next thing since Lucy about physical comedy,” said Kaprall. “They didn't care and if it wasn't written in the script - they'd put it in. They knew what to do. That broad comedy."
After "Laverne and Shirley," Marshall went on to become a successful director of movies like "A League of Their Own," "Big" and "Awakenings." But Kaprall says her biggest hit will be her lasting legacy.
"I think she had perseverance,” he said. “She knew what was funny. She knew how to make a movie. She learned a lot from Garry, her brother, who was a big film and executive and I think she applied it to the movies."
Kaprall says even though Marshall and Williams had reputations for being difficult to work with, he'll remember Marshall as a gifted physical comedian who made her mark.
"She was a pro,” he said. “She knew what she was doing and you trusted her."
Kaprall says the last time he saw Marshall was at an autograph signing in Chicago five years ago with Williams who remains his close friend.