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My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir | [Penny Marshall]

My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir

her life story going her humble roots in the Bronx to one of the most liked and respected figures in the entertainment business, also covering her marriage to Rob Reiner and relationships with Art Garfunkel, Carrie Fisher, and John Belushi, and her bout with lung and brain cancer in 2009, to Julia Cheiffetz
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (975 )
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4.1 (874 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ricardo Texas USA 02-24-14
    Ricardo Texas USA 02-24-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it .. Loved it Loved it !"

    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 !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony Mattes Sacramento, CA, USA 01-27-14
    Tony Mattes Sacramento, CA, USA 01-27-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Surprisingly Touching"
    Where does My Mother Was Nuts rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The top biography, maybe top 5 of all my books...


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Penny Marshall – was your favorite?

    Who doesn't love Laverne? But my favorite Penny Marshall character is simply Penny Marshall, the woman.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mona 01-22-14
    Mona 01-22-14
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    "The narration will make your ears bleed"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa LANCASTER, PA, United States 01-22-14
    Theresa LANCASTER, PA, United States 01-22-14 Member Since 2011

    Terry

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    "She tells it like it is."
    What did you love best about My Mother Was Nuts?

    Penny Marshall is just realistic and witty. It was thought provoking , funny, and overall enjoyable to listen and read.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of My Mother Was Nuts?

    When she sang her mother's song after releasing her ashes.


    Have you listened to any of Penny Marshall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I will now.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Coraopolis, PA, United States 01-17-14
    Frank Coraopolis, PA, United States 01-17-14 Member Since 2005

    drFrank

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    "Hilarious at times with some good life lessons"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice M. Johnson 10-27-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Penny Marshall is a Talent"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked learning about the many facets of Penny Marshall's talent. Her anecdotes about people in show business were fun to listen to.


    What does Penny Marshall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Haven, VT, United States 08-30-13
    Michael New Haven, VT, United States 08-30-13 Member Since 2011
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    "May she always get 5 more minutes!!!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of My Mother Was Nuts to be better than the print version?

    Yes - She talks from the heart yet pulls no punches and you can hear it in her voice ; genuine, sincere, and full of life.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 08-13-13
    Amazon Customer United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Valentine to Friendship"

    At times, this memoir moves a little slowly, but overall Marshall has a great story about the value of taking chances and enjoying friendships.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen 07-19-13
    Maureen 07-19-13

    Mom of one 27 year old, PhD in Rhetoric, Retired AF Captain, Avid Kayaker, Hiker, Biker, Sailor, & Dog Lover

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    "Holy &hit This is Funny."
    If you could sum up My Mother Was Nuts in three words, what would they be?

    SHE'S SO FUNNY!
    Who knew that Penny Marshall was so thoroughly connected to EVERYBODY in the movie biz? Man, I'd have loved to been a fly on the wall at one of those parties.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of My Mother Was Nuts?

    The title drew me in. My mother's nuts too. The title is the whole reason I bought the book because I really knew very little about Marshall. But the unique, wonderful spirit of this woman unfolds in each chapter in a way that you just don't want to stop listening. I had FUN listening to her stories in the same way that I had fun watching her play Laverne. She is enormously talented and a great movie director.


    Which character – as performed by Penny Marshall – was your favorite?

    Herself.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh out loud when she talked about how she can only do one accent: Bronx. That's it. And we love her for it.


    Any additional comments?

    I think Marshall did a wonderful job of including Cindy Williams, despite the rocky paths they've taken into the present. They're forever tied in our memories of Laverne and Shirley, and I think she very delicately and respectfully remembered her friend. No wonder Carrie loves her so much. She's loyal...and honest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 07-11-13
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 07-11-13 Member Since 2008
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    "I was so surprised!"

    I loved this autobiography! Penny Marshall is very entertaining and drew great mental pictures of her upbringing in the Bronx. It was fun learning about the depth of her career and all the other kids from her neighborhood who made it big in entertainment. Penny's voice is, well, Penny's voice but the naturalness of her accent is part of the charm of her story. This book is filled with fun anecdotes and self-effacing introspection (more of the former.) I zipped through it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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