Today, I finished reading this memoir exactly at the point I arrived at my stop on the subway near where I work. What timing, eh?
On the whole, "My Mother Was Nuts" was a very informative, funny, and engaging memoir. I learned so much about Penny Marshall that I simply had no idea about. I first became aware of her during the early 1970s because of the role she had in the TV sit-com "The Odd Couple" as Oscar Madison's secretary. I thought she was funny and cute. Then, I followed her at a distance when she was on "Laverne and Shirley." By then, it was the mid-1970s, I was a preteen/early teen, and as "Laverne and Shirley" came on Tuesdays at 8 PM, opposite my favorite TV show on NBC at the time (which was "Baa Baa Black Sheep"), I didn't watch much of the goings on with Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney in Milwaukee during the late 1950s.
Penny Marshall was one of those celebrities I grew up with but didn't follow her career closely. I came to know her as an actress, film maker, and director. So, reading her memoir was a very enjoyable and illuminating experience for me. She was gutsy, a rabid sports fan, a big hearted person, and a hard-working pro who valued her family and friendships.
I like to sum up this review by citing a quote from Penny Marshall about a meeting she had with Princess Grace of Monaco in the 1970s. "... I chatted with the Princess, who was as gorgeous as I remembered her in movies when she was Grace Kelly, the star from Philadelphia. When I asked if she missed acting, she smiled and said, 'What do you think I’m doing now?' ”