My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall

by on October 17th, 2012
My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall Cover Image

There’s a lot more to Penny Marshall than Laverne and Shirley! I don’t typically read Biographies but picked up this book, read the intro, and couldn’t put it down. In the introduction, Penny Marshall tells the story about when her apartment was broken into by two bandits dressed as Ninjas. Marshall was in her PJs and wearing a face mask. The story she relayed was funny, and even funnier when she washes off the face mask and one of the would-be thieves recognizes her as Laverne De Fazio.

Marshall’s biography reads like a Who’s Who of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s pop culture. Each chapter represents a different phase in Marshall’s life, and she often relates the story to a life lesson she learned from her mother. Marshall is pragmatic and unrepentant. Yes she got pregnant at 19, did drugs, was married and divorced a couple times, and rode across Europe on the back of a motorcycle with Art Garfunkel. She worked hard and played harder. In the midst of her life choices, and despite her many successes (first female director to gross over $100M for the movie, Big), she distills life down to four simple lessons: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.”

Penny Marshall’s book was well-written and funny. It made me want to watch the movies Big, Awakenings, and A League of their Own and maybe catch a couple episodes of Laverne and Shirley. Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated …

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