Rob Reiner Remembers Ex-Wife Penny Marshall After Her Death at 75: 'So Sad'

Actress and director Penny Marshall was married to Rob Reiner for 10 years from 1971-81

When news broke on Tuesday that actress and director Penny Marshall had died the night before in her Hollywood Hills home from diabetes complications, Hollywood mourned.

From lead roles in Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy and The Odd Couple, to her work behind the scenes as the director of A League of Their Own, Big and Riding in Cars with Boys, Marshall had a presence in Hollywood for more than five decades. And early on, Marshall paired off with another Hollywood powerhouse when she married Rob Reiner in 1971.

She and the legendary actor, director and producer were married for 10 years and Reiner adopted Marshall’s daughter Tracy. They have three grandchildren together.

Upon learning about his ex-wife’s death, Reiner, 71, first tweeted, “So sad about Penny.”

Minutes later, the Oscar nominee wrote about how lucky he was to have spent time with her.

36th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Ron Galella/WireImage
Rob Reiner and Penny Marshall
Art Zelin/Getty

“I loved Penny,” he wrote. “I grew up with her. She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her.”

Though they married in 1971, Reiner and Marshall were in close proximity before that.

“We grew up across the street in the Bronx but didn’t know each other,” she told PEOPLE in 2012. “I loved him dearly.”

She added in her 2014 memoir My Mother Was Nuts, “It was a very wide street.”

More Than Friends
Marshall and Reiner in More Than Friends in 1978. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Marshall and Reiner auditioned for All in the Family, but it was Sally Struthers who ended up playing his wife. They ended up meeting during Marshall’s 1971 appearance on The Odd Couple and worked together again on 1978’s More Than Friends, a dramedy about two childhood friends from the Bronx who enter a romantic relationship. The next year, they split.

Reiner was Marshall’s second husband; she was married to athlete Michael Henry from 1961-63, with whom she had Tracy.

Related Articles