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"I didn't want to be tied to the kid's (biological) father," Marshall said."And that situation was one of my life's only big regrets." Through the various heartbreaks and setbacks, Marshall said she knows how to surmount it all."When I was recording for book on tape," Marshall said, "I couldn't get through that part -- I just kept tearing up." Having sex with her college sweetheart to cheer him up after a football squad setback, Marshall became pregnant and embarked on a hasty teenage marriage.

Kennedy's assassination, and things didn't pick up much after that.

Many years later she found herself once again pregnant and unmarried, and though close friend Joe Pesci gallantly offered to step in and act as father, she made the difficult decision to have an abortion.

There are stories of Calvin Klein tearing up the dance floor at high school parties and of Marshall hanging out with John Belushi and smelling pillows for Steven Spielberg.

In her pre-fame days, Marshall quickly learned she didn't fit the Hollywood stereotype when she co-starred in a Head & Shoulders shampoo commercial with a then-unknown blonde named Farrah Fawcett.

Marshall and Williams soon got their own spinoff as a slightly more wholesome version of that duo.

"Laverne & Shirley" was an immediate hit, debuting as the No.While the show was funny, on the set things weren't always so hilarious.Surrounded by Marshall's kin and cronies, Williams felt outnumbered and overlooked, which led to tension behind the scenes.Penny Marshall, most famous as the Pepsi- and milk-swigging half of "Laverne & Shirley," reveals in her new memoir, "My Mother Was Nuts," that her life off-camera has been just as crazy as anything that viewers saw on the screen.Marshall's book reads like a Who's Who of pop culture's major players in the last half of the 20th century.Her brother, producer-director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman), 61, remembers Penny joking about the Alzheimer’s: “Maybe it’s good—she won’t know who I am and will like me better.” In fact, the senior Marshalls had high hopes for their younger daughter. 15, 1943, Carole Penny Marshall was named for the glamorous film comedian Carole Lombard.Her father, Tony Marshall—born Masciarelli—now 90, was an industrial filmmaker.At least her schedule includes a vacation in Cambodia and Laos, where, she hopes, “I don’t think there are any cells for my portaphone.” If she’s living the hectic life of a Hollywood hotshot, there’s a reason.In the past 10 years, Marshall has directed six major films, two of which (Big and A League of Their Own) have topped 0 million at the box office. Vance, who plays the preacher in the movie, recalls that, at times, “we all felt the need to put our arms around her and ask, ‘Are you okay?Marshall's on-set stand-in wore a placard that read "Homely Girl," while the stand-in for Fawcett had one reading "Pretty Girl." Fawcett kindly decided to cross out the word "Homely" and wrote "Plain" instead.In an episode of "Love, American Style," Marshall was cast as the "Homely Girl at Bar."After becoming a big TV star with her own series, she handled her fame with aplomb, though once at a party she and "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman's" Louise Lasser cordially congratulated one another on their success, then slipped into a nearby bathroom, giddily jumping up and down and squealing, "We're famous! "Before either one of them was well-known, Marshall ended up dating and marrying Rob Reiner, who grew up across the street from Marshall in the Bronx, though the pair had never met. At one point, both auditioned for a new sitcom, but while Reiner was cast as Mike Stivic, Sally Struthers ended up playing his wife, Gloria, on "All in the Family."The actress' brother, director Garry Marshall, was a successful TV writer and producer when Jack Klugman convinced him to cast his sister as Oscar's secretary, Myrna, in "The Odd Couple." Later her brother ended up casting his sibling and her old pal Cindy Williams in a guest stint on another hit series, "Happy Days." The two played Laverne and Shirley, "fast girls" Fonzie recruited for a double date with Richie Cunningham.

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