In a major bombshell disclosure today – after two years of repeated denials — actress and filmmaker PENNY MARSHALL finally confirmed our exclusive ENQUIRER reports that she battled brain and lung cancer in 2009!
Without citing The ENQUIRER by name, the shocking confirmation about her life-and-death medical battle came today tucked into a statement issued to Reuters news agency from Marshall’s agent, Dan Strone, announcing the star was releasing a memoir about her rise in Hollywood.
The statement said Marshall, 68, has sold the rights to her autobiography, called “My Mother Was Nuts,” directly to Amazon.com Inc., and it said in addition to discussing her former 10-year marriage to fellow director Rob Reiner, and her friendships with John Belushi and Art Garfunkel, the book would also include “her battle with brain and lung cancer in 2009.”
Marshall, best known for her role on the TV hit “Laverne & Shirley,” had her representatives over the past two years repeatedly deny exclusive news reports written by Los Angeles-based ENQUIRER senior reporter Patricia Shipp.
We first broke the news to the world in our print issue dated November 16, 2009, that the beloved star was battling for her life after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
The ENQUIRER exclusively reported that, at the time, the Bronx native and lifelong Yankees fan had flown from Los Angeles to New York to see her favorite team in the baseball playoffs.
But we reported that a serious medical crisis developed when after the flight she became severely ill and went to see a doctor. She later found out that she had a tumor on both her brain and her liver – and she underwent surgery so a biopsy could be taken to determine if she had cancer.
At the time, we quoted a close source as saying, “She was floored because it happened so fast.”
We reported that Penny’s daughter Tracy flew to New York to be by her side, as did Penny’s ex-husband, “All in the Family” star Rob Reiner.
In a subsequent report, our sources said the tumor on Penny’s brain was benign, however the tumor on her liver was malignant – and in subsequent months we sadly reported that her cancer had spread.
But from the very beginning, it now turns out that Penny’s representatives repeatedly lied to The ENQUIRER – denying our stories.
Merry Grissom of Marshall’s company, Parkway Productions, repeatedly told The ENQUIRER our reporting was wrong. In one comment response from 2009, she e-mailed back: “This story is not true” and in yet another response from 2010: “None of these statements are true.”
While it’s clear now that The ENQUIRER’s accurate reporting was right from the beginning, her reps continued to deny our stories even when we published photos showing her arriving for cancer treatment at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Over the ensuing months, photos showed Marshall at public events “bloated” from medication doctors put her on. Sources also said she lost lots of her hair from treatment.
But in a miracle comeback, we reported in January 2011, that despite the cancer spreading, doctors informed her that she was in remission after finally responding favorably to the chemo and radiation treatments!
Marshall, whose book will be published in print and e-book form in the fall of 2012, was launched to fame when she played Laverne DeFazio on the hit TV show “Laverne & Shirley,” which ran from 1976 to 1983 which was spunoff from "Happy Days" which her brother Gary Marshall produced.
She later became an accomplished movie director with hit films such as “Big” and “A League of Their Own.”