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My Mother Was Nuts [Kindle Edition]

Penny Marshall
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,536 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $5.99
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Book Description

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.



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Penny Marshall's Photo Album

Click on thumbnails for larger images

  Penny and Rob Reiner cutting the cake at their 1971 backyard Hollywood wedding.
  Penny with her close friend John Belushi in New York in 1976. John passed away in 1982.
  Art Garfunkel on a motorcycle trip through France and Italy with Penny.
  Penny with her daughter, Tracy; Tracy’s husband, Matt; and their children Spencer, Bella, and Viva in 2011.

From Booklist

On the heels of her brother Garry’s memoir, My Happy Days in Hollywood (2012), comes Marshall’s own recounting of her career as an actress and a director. The youngest of three, Marshall grew up in an apartment in the Bronx and reluctantly attended her mother’s dance school. Her college career was cut short by pregnancy, which led to a brief marriage. After her marriage fell apart, Marshall found her way to Hollywood to give acting a shot. A guest-starring role in her brother’s hit show Happy Days turned out to be fortuitous, leading to Marshall’s own show, Laverne & Shirley, a big success that ran for eight seasons and made Marshall famous. When the show ended, Marshall added directing to her credits, taking her first gig with the Whoopi Goldberg movie Jumping Jack Flash and going on to helm classics such as Big, Awakenings, and A League of Their Own. Hollywood aficionados will get a kick out of Marshall’s anecdotes about her circle of friends, including Albert Brooks, John Belushi, and Carrie Fisher, all told in a funny, down-to-earth manner. --Kristine Huntley

Product Details

  • File Size: 1126 KB
  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0547892624
  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing (September 18, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008L4KRCS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,374 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
250 of 282 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Guess I didn't see the charm in the book September 22, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read the five star reviews, and sadly, I can't give the same rating.

Prior to the book, I really liked Penny Marshall. After reading the book, I can't say I feel the same.

First, just looking at the book itself, the writing is okay...she talks like she is having a conversation, rather than writing "literature", and I like that. But, her conversations are somewhat superficial. There is no true insight into Ms Marshall. No great revelations of a "gee, that's really amazing" when it comes to her personal career and those celebrity friends she name drops ad nauseum (? spelling).

As far as what I walked away with? I found her lacking in any warmth, except when she talks about Carrie Fisher. She wasn't a good mother. She makes no bones about it, and no apologies or sincere regrets. She didn't like, respect or appreciate her parents. Her mother wasn't a great, loving mother, I got that. Her father was a blah personality, I got that. But honestly, nothing gave me the impression she tried to be a loving daughter, either, other than she moved them to California and helped support them financially, but that was done more, I got the impression, because she had the money to do so and was expected of her. You did drugs....I got that. Over and over, I got that. She apparently didn't care much for her sister, because I didn't see any overtures of closeness or wanting to be close to her...more pointing out her sister's faults.

I am sure that this is Penny in real life. Her words certainly ring true, and I appreciate the honesty. There was some humor, often sad or black humor. No true insight into her marriage with Rob Reiner or other personal relationships...everything seems to be glossed over.
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160 of 183 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What hypocrite! September 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
While I enjoy reading biographies of all types because I find it interesting to learn what motivations people had to get to where they are in life, this book simply made me turn away in disgust. Why?
In brief:
Penny complains non-stop about her mother and what a terrible person she was -probably true- but then she leaves her daughter behind to be raised by others. There are brief mentions of the daughter here and there, but no discernible mother-daughter bond.
Drugs, drugs, drugs, more drugs, John Belushi dies of a drug overdose Penny is horrified and then guess what? More drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs.
There were many names dropped throughout the book but that did not make it any more interesting, it was just a repository of names.
I thought that our age of reality t.v. was the most superficial but after reading this tragedy of a book I see that empty, vapid heads came before the current crop of insipid celebrities with nothing to offer.
There's a silver lining to all this, I did not have to pay to read this book because I got to borrow it for free from the Amazon Kindle library. Whew!

Now I must go read a classic to make up for the pain I inflicted on my intellect with this travesty of a book.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Changed My Opinion of Penny Marshall for the Negative November 4, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really liked Penny Marshall before I read this book. I wanted to read it to find out more about her life. Now? I have absolutely no respect for her. But there's more than that. For a memoir to be interesting it has to have something that interests, amuses, or entertains. This book does none of those things.

This could have been written by anyone because the book also lacks that personal insight that makes a memoir interesting. Penny tells her story as if she was describing a story on the news. In other words, no emotion, no reflection, and certainly no lessons learned.

One of the things that struck me about the book was how little she seemed to learn as she got older. John Belushi died of a drug overdose and yet she talks about her own drug use as blandly as if she was discussing her morning shower. It was just something she did every day. She saw people around her behaving poorly and even dying but it didn't change her own practices. And yet, there's also no reflection here either.

She titled this book about her obvious negativity toward her mother, and yet she was an even worse mother. She dumped her kid off and had zero reflection on that either. What's worse, she continued getting pregnant twice more where she didn't even know who the father was.

She never talks about the consequences of her poor behavior. Perhaps she sincerely believes there wasn't any. The one redeeming quality of this book is that her brother Garry seems like a genuinely nice person.
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160 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and entertaining just like its author!! September 18, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Penny Marshall is one of my all time favorite actresses and directors! She has made some of the best movies, been on one of my all time favorite tv shows Laverne and Shirley, and now she brings us a very funny book.
She talks about growing up in the Bronx, getting pregnant and married young in New Mexico, her marriage to Rob Reiner and relatioship with Art Garfunkel. She talks about some very serious stuff like abortion and drugs and she goes behind the scenes of all her movies and the set of her famous tv show. She has been through some difficult stuff but she manages to turn all of that into to humor which is what I love about her.
This book is absolutely hilarious and a must read! If you love her movies and Laverne and Shirley you'll love this too. Its what you would expect from this very funny lady.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars my mother was nuts
It was not my favorite book. I didnt finish it. Sorry
I guess I wasnt in the mood for her humor
Published 1 day ago by venice lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Famous and money does strange things to people. This book was a fast read and kept my interest throughout the book. Read more
Published 4 days ago by SB
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!!!
This is a wonderful look into the life of Penny Marshall. Very funny and hard to put down. Must have you won't regret!
Published 5 days ago by courtney maxwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Full of funny references to people we know!
I had no idea of the talent this woman possesses - directing, producing as well as acting and now, writing! Very impressed. Read more
Published 7 days ago by lovemycats
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Fast, easy reading. She had weird childhood, but that formed her
drive, sense of humor and outlook on life. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Barb G
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
I really liked her book. It was so funny. She lived in a lot of the same places.Same neighborhood as myself. I enjoyed her being frank about where she stood. Read more
Published 9 days ago by renee
2.0 out of 5 stars Simply ok. Hype was overstated
Interesting life but boring after a while expected more from Penny. I think it was the writing that didn't catch me.
Published 9 days ago by Paula Sachs
5.0 out of 5 stars Not normally my type of book, but . . .
I figured I could use some 'mindless reading' (apologies to Penny, I figured her book wasn't a textbook and would make for enjoyable relaxed reading). Read more
Published 9 days ago by Cranky24/7
5.0 out of 5 stars Helen from ny
Very well written and a great read, not to mention very enlightening about this Bronx gal. Great insights on life and a celeb fest to boot.
Published 14 days ago by Helen Weitman
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic, honest read
I found this memoir to be largely an entertaining, nostalgic trip back to the 70's and 80's and provided insights into some of my favorite movies. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Barb Short
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More About the Author

Penny Marshall is an actress, producer, and director. After playing several small roles for television, she was cast as Laverne DeFazio in the sitcom Laverne and Shirley. A ratings success, the show ran from 1976 until 1983, and Marshall received three Golden Globe award nominations for her performance. She went on to direct films such as Big (1988), the first film 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). In more recent years, she has produced Cinderella Man (2005) and Bewitched (2005), as well as episodes of According to Jim (2009). She most recently directed an episode of the Showtime original series United States of Tara.

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After seeing Penny Marshall's book promos
Just read your post. I held back because I thought I could not say what I had to say. Apparently you and I are on the same page and it isn't in Penny Marshall's book.
Sep 20, 2012 by dmorris,l, |  See all 5 posts
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