Hollywood is mourning the loss of director Penny Marshall after she passed away due to complications with diabetes on Dec. 17. In commemoration of her life and contributions to cinema, actor Courtney B. Vance remembered his pleasant experience working with Marshall on the 1996 blockbuster The Preacher’s Wife.
Vance claimed that he was “tremendously blessed” to have worked with Marshall on the film. The actor starred in the remake of the 1947 film The Bishop’s Wife alongside Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington.
“The experience of working with Penny on that film was anything but typical, and marked the beginning of a long, beautiful friendship filled with lots of memories, joy, and laughter,” he said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. “You see, Penny was funny. I mean, absolutely hysterical! Laughter was always a big part of being in her world.”
Vance also recalled a hilarious moment on set of the movie during an ice skating scene in New York City. “One of my fondest memories that is vintage Penny was, rather than shoot an ice skating scene from The Preacher’s Wife in New York City, where we were already on location, and in one of the coldest winters on record, Penny decided to pick up the entire cast and crew to take us to Maine,” Vance remembered. “It was 20 [degrees] below when we arrived, but ironically shot up to 60 degrees the next day. Yet it wasn’t the weather that drew Penny to Maine. The place where we set up was home to some of the best antique shopping — a favorite pastime for Penny — and everyone had a wonderful time on that trip.”
He continued: “That was my friend, Penny Marshall, a woman who loved her life and all the people who were a part of it. And we loved our Penny.”
The original score for The Preacher’s Wife earned an Oscar nomination and its soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album of all time. In additional to the beloved holiday film, Penny Marshall also directed major films like 1992’s A League of Their Own. Actors from the film including Tom Hanks and Madonna have also shared their condolences on social media in light of Marshall’s passing.
READ MORE: ‘Moonlight,’ ‘American Crime Story’ Garner Golden Globe Nods