My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall


6 Critic Reviews

...Marshall's boundless energy and no-nonsense attitude make for a fun read.
-Publishers Weekly


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.


About Penny Marshall

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Penny Marshall is an actress, producer, and director. From 1976 until 1983, she starred as Laverne DeFazio in the classic TV sitcom Laverne and Shirley . She went on to direct films such as Big (1988), the first movie directed by a woman to gross in excess of $100 million at the U.S. box office, Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and A League of Their Own (1992), which also made over $100 million in the U.S. More recently, she has directed episodes of United States of Tara (2009) and guest-starred on Portlandia (2011).
Published September 18, 2012 by Amazon Publishing. 349 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Oct 07 2012
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for My Mother Was Nuts
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0


Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Sep 01 2012

...frank and funny memoir about the path that led her from an ordinary childhood in New York City to Hollywood stardom.

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Publishers Weekly

Sep 17 2012

...Marshall's boundless energy and no-nonsense attitude make for a fun read.

Read Full Review of My Mother Was Nuts | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Reviewed by Vinton Rafe McCabe on Sep 18 2012

...once the book switches focus from Marjorie to Penny, it loses vibrancy, becoming a more or less linear retelling of her Hollywood success story.

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LA Times

Reviewed by Susan King on Sep 26 2012

Marshall, 68, is in a mood to contemplate her past upon the release of her breezy new memoir...

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Huffington Post

Reviewed by Liz Smith on Sep 21 2012

One of the most amusing, straightforward and poignant (without self-pity) memoirs I've read yet.

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The Saturday Evening Post

Reviewed by Pamela Holmes

She tells it as it happened—the good, the bad, and the weird; the successes and the struggles; all the fun she’s had and that she still wants five more minutes.

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Nitya 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list