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.
©2012 Penny Marshall (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Depends if the friend grew up in the Bronx. I bought this book since Penny Marshall grew up very close to where I grew up - about 15 years before me. It was great to see a local kid make it big. I dont know if I would have enjoyed it as a non-Bronx native...
Its an autobiography, so it didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know about Penny Marshall. She's still alive and kicking, so nothing surprising :)
Herself - its an autobiography - she did it exactly as if you were having a conversation with her. I did appreciate the moments of emotion she let slip when she was talking about important losses in her life..
Local kid makes it big and drops a lot of names while telling the story.
I liked this book - I especially loved that Penny Marshall narrated it... Her words coming out of someone else's mouth would not have been nearly as powerful... That being said, she does have a tendency to let her ego take over and drop big names left and right... She has every right to do so since she worked for and deserves the credit, but it does get old after a while
Penny Marshall's narration seems more like sitting in a room with her shooting the breeze than her reading her book.
Her entire life was amazing. She knows everyone in Hollywood and loves almost all of them. If she doesn't love them, they're probably unlovable. Any yet, she was always hard-nosed about sticking with her vision in directing a movie. Firm but fair, a nurturer of raw talent (and a keen eye for spotting new talent), visionary and trailblazer.
Again, her narration is priceless. The years haven't softened her Bronx accent at all, and it adds to the magic of her marvelous life stories.
I laughed a lot. My Lab got used to my laughing out loud when it was just the two of us in the car.
Tell us about yourself!
Loved the book. It gave a great perspective to a world I will never know.
Penny Marshall fans
no. Her language was excessive and at times she was clearly reading (and not terribly well)
Her life has been interesting
This is the only way to get through all the books I want to enjoy...and still I'm behind!
I have always enjoyed Penny Marshall's characters and have seen most if not all of her movies, but what was so great about this book is that Penny Marshall tells HER story...all the ups, downs, good, the bad and the probably not pretty stuff. She introduces her family- all of them and how she became who and what she is. Who she is is truly impressive and an incredibly intelligent, caring person, someone I would like to have l as a trusted friend.
Ms. Marshall impresses me as a very real, nothing hoity toity Hollywood, but practical and not only very street wise, but has a great deal of common sense. Listen to the book and find out that she uses those qualities as a director of movies.
As much as I love knowing everyone's story, it was great to know about how one really deals with what seemed a pretty interesting family-certainly a very successful one and one that continues still today. Why again do I feel like I missed something not having grown up in a New York borough? I loved hearing the details of the TV series "Laverne and Shirley" like the whole wearing of the L on her clothes, or the sing-song: " Schlamiel, Schlamazel.." or the whole Pepsi and milk thing. It was all the details included-nothing seemed to leave you wondering, she answered what seemed like any question you may have of her life. It's definitely an open book..book.
Mind you, Penny Marshall has a very distinctive voice and I wouldn't (no offense intended Ms. Marshall) suggest she narrate any other stories but her own, but her voice is the best in telling her story, inuendos and all. It was wonderful to hear how she developed in life, and what she learned, I take away the thought that she is out there as she learned from her mother:"to entertain people" and that Ms. Marshall has been thoroughly living life as it is and taking full advantage of all that is offered.
Not an audiobook, no. For a professional actress, this is really a bland performance, and her voice can be grating.
Would seem odd to have someone else narrate her memoir, but her voice is definitely not one that's easy to listen to for 8.5 hours.
There are points where the book is pretty interesting—I was most intrigued by her early years and up-and-coming years in Hollywood. But there's tremendous amount of space devoted to needless name-dropping (she'll mention going to parties with no further details other than a list of A-list attendees). Almost one whole chapter is just about a great basketball season. This is pretty insufferable.
Not quite your standard memoir, It's mostly short stories instead of one coherent piece. It is nevertheless enjoyable and insightful. I learned about her life, the TV and movie business and what it was like growing up in her time.
When she read her brother's poem about 9/11.
This was enjoyable, but as another reviewer mentioned, something was missing. She glossed over many relationships, says she has a deep love of certain people but I never felt I understood why. During parts she seemed quite removed..As a native New Yorker I especially loved the parts about my hometown. She still has a very strong accent after all these years.
Penny and I were born the same year and so we share a common experience of history.
Her Bronx accent enhances her story and contributes to the humor in her personal and professional observations. Behind the scenes stories always entertain and this memoir works well for anyone familiar with her work in front of and behind the camera. One can't help but love her style...not a scintilla of manipulation.
I was not a big fan of Laverne and Shirley. I did enjoy some of the films Peny Marshall directed, particularly "Big" and "A League of Their Own". I doubt I would have bought this book had it not been on sale.
My first concern was whether I could tolerate Ms. Marshall's unique voice. I got used to it and didn't find it irritating. This is a very personal story. It wouldn't seem authentic if it were narrated by anyone else.
I grew up in a suburb in a reasonably well functioning family. I enjoy my rather ordinary life, Ms. Marshall's life has been vastly different from mine and I was intrigued to learn about it. Much of the book is a recitation of events in a mostly chronological order.
What appealed to me most is Ms. Marshall's honesty and lack of pretention. I don't believe this is a great book. but liked it and I like Penny Marshall.
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