Book Review: My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir by Penny Marshall

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I have to say upfront that I have seen every episode of Laverne & Shirley a dozen times. So when I saw this book by Penny Marshall I had to read it. And, of course, I was surprised with a lot of what I read.

As the title says her mom was a little “unique”. She wasn’t exactly a warm & fuzzy mother. Maybe that’s why Penny turned out so tough. She wasn’t even flustered when people broke into her house!

She is very open about her personal life including her parents & their relationship, her siblings, marriages & boyfriends, her daughter, and her many famous friends. She is also open about her health issues and personal choices. It was so interesting to see her life.

The book moves through her childhood, into adolescence, and finally into adulthood. She is very open about the fact that her career was largely due to luck and help from her older brother, Garry. He had moved away while she was still a child. By the time Penny was an adult Garry was already into his writing career and called on her to work on some of his projects.

Similarly, when she started directing, this also kind of fell into her lap. She continually made famous friends and connections that called on her for various projects. She honed her craft and was a successful actress and director.

She explains the details of directing movies and goes into the specifics of several of hers including: Big, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and Awakenings among others. I was truly fascinated.

Penny definitely wasn’t as innocent as Laverne DeFazio and we get a front row seat for that as well. If you want a wild, name-droppin’ ride through some crazy Hollywood times, you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks for reading & stay safe out there! 😷

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