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.
So much more enjoyable that I would have ever expected.
At first Penny's talking with the mouth full of marble was annoying. Then her voice broke while talking about her mother and it was read by the perfect person.
What a wonderful life. I felt it was an honest representation without having to go to the dark side. The hoop jumping of the motion picture industry was enlightening.
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
Already re-started the book to share with my husband and have gifted copies to my Mom and sister. We lived off the Grand Concourse, played at the Oval, shopped at Alexander's, hung out at the Parkway and went to JHS 80. Oh, and our Dad graduated from DeWitt Clinton High, and my older sister changed her address so she could go to Evander instead of Walton (which I escaped by qualifying for the HS of Music and Art). As a toddler I took jazz-tap-and -ballet from Marjorie Marshall in the apartment building basement, who was a local celebrity exactly as described. The Bronx was, indeed, the center of our universe and to hear it described in such truthful and loving detail was moving beyond words. If none of the above makes sense to you, read the book.
The book was beautifully written and read with every ounce of humanity, humor and pathos it deserves. It made me laugh and cry. Penny is so much more than the natural sitcom comedienne she is credited with being. She is wild, worldly, generous, has a huge heart full of wisdom, and as a director deserves two or three Oscar nominations. Much love to you Penny, from a Bronx home girl.
Let me be honest my first concern was "how can I listen to this with her voice".
After 10 minutes in I wouldn't have it any other way. I loved this book and now I love her.
Her stories were great and she said them with so much honestly.
I laughed , I cried, I cheered .. .. must buy !
The top biography, maybe top 5 of all my books...
I love when the author reads their own story, especially an autobiography. It's their story, they own it, they know how to tell it.
Who doesn't love Laverne? But my favorite Penny Marshall character is simply Penny Marshall, the woman.
I was particularly touched by Penny getting choked by emotion when telling of friends'/family members'/colleagues' deaths, or the 9-11 Attacks, for example.
This was an awesome book. I was afraid at first that Penny telling her own story would be unintelligible because of her mumbly-accented speaking voice. You warm up to it pretty quick. There are several times where you can tell she's gone off-book and it just telling you the story. Between that, the emotion, and the behind-the-Hollywood-scenes stories, this has got to be my Number 1 favorite biography.
I've never heard anything so awful. The story was interesting but I couldn't bear to listen to more than 10 minutes at a time before I was overcome with irritation at her delivery. She reads her own life story with less enthusiasm than someone reading a grocery list.
Penny Marshall is just realistic and witty. It was thought provoking , funny, and overall enjoyable to listen and read.
When she sang her mother's song after releasing her ashes.
No but I will now.
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I don’t know much about Penny Marshall but I do like her movies (or most of them anyway) so I thought her bio would be interesting. I like her sarcastic humour and she supplied enough of it to keep me entertained throughout!
I didn’t watch Laverne and Shirley regularly “back in the day” so I was not up on the scandals surrounding the show - I get the feeling there is no love lost between her and Cindy Williams… I had no idea!
Lots of name dropping and Hollywood tittle-tattle, so it was a good dose of behind-the-scenes entertainment. I especially liked the gossipy tidbits like how Whoopi Goldberg is a little hard to take, how John Travolta was dying for the lead role in Big but he was “Hollywood Poison” at the time, and the casting details for the movie A League of Their Own.
I think this book was 3$ well spent.
Lover of life and lover of books! I read/listen to a wide range (many) but my favorite non fiction are self-help and autobiographies.
The book starts off very funny and continues as many memoirs do with parts seeming like you fell into a soap opera and other parts with tremendous life lessons. If you grew up watching Penny as Laverne or many of the other roles she played (director of many great movies) then the behind the scenes will interest you.
Overall, I found the book entertaining but there were times when it seemed to derail. Beware of the 'f' bombs and other 'rough' language throughout the book.
I gave it four stars but it is more like 3.5 stars for me.
The biggest life lesson - Not everything your parents attempt to teach you is wrong. :D
Her mom kept pushing her and her two siblings to entertain people and although Penny pushed back, she ended up in the entertainment world as well as her brother. How ironic.
If you think your family is crazy or dysfunctional, then this is a must read.
I liked learning about the many facets of Penny Marshall's talent. Her anecdotes about people in show business were fun to listen to.
Her unique voice adds a lot to this autobiography because it is as if she is sitting in your living room sipping wine and telling her tales.
Yes - She talks from the heart yet pulls no punches and you can hear it in her voice ; genuine, sincere, and full of life.
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