Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don’t know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood’s star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way.
My Mother Was Nuts is an intimate backstage pass to Penny’s personal life, her breakout role on The Odd Couple, her exploits with Cindy Williams and John Belushi, and her travels across Europe with Art Garfunkel on the back of a motorcycle. We see Penny get married. And divorced. And married again (the second time to Rob Reiner). We meet a young Carrie Fisher, whose close friendship with Penny has spanned decades. And we see Penny at work with Tom Hanks, Mark Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.
Throughout it all, from her childhood spent tap dancing in the Bronx, to her rise as the star of Laverne & Shirley, Penny lived by simple rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.” With humor and heart, My Mother Was Nuts reveals there’s no one else quite like Penny Marshall.
“Penny Marshall is a fascinating woman who has lived a life few of us could survive. Did you know she gave me two of the best jobs I’ve ever had? Of course not, because when she talks she is barely comprehensible. Read her memoir and you’ll come to love her as much as I do.” – Tom Hanks
“If I hadn’t known Penny for the past 35 years, reading this book would make me want to. Also, I’m so glad she wrote it because it helps me remember things I forgot, which is a lot.” – Carrie Fisher
“My sister Penny is one of the funniest people I know. I’m not saying that because she’s my sister, although I am partial to nepotism. She made everyone laugh at our family dinner table, and she made everyone laugh on the set of Laverne and Shirley. The fact that she went on to become the first woman director in the history of film, to make not one, but two movies that made over $100 million is no surprise to me. Read this book and you will know why.” – Garry Marshall
“A very funny book by a very funny lady. I wouldn’t have a career without her!” – Mark Wahlberg