NY Daily News: Penny Marshall’s daughter, Tracy Reiner, talks about selling her mom’s old stuff (and more!) as auction grows near
Hundreds of items that once belonged to filmmaker and actress Penny Marshall will be auctioned online next Sunday.
This sale isn’t for Marshall fans looking to score kitschy monogrammed “Laverne & Shirley” sweaters. The “L” in this auctions stands for lamps. Lots of them.
“The lamp collection is so beautiful and they were around my whole life,” Marshall’s daughter Tracy Reiner told the Daily News by phone from her New Mexico home. “It was like a museum.”
The ornate assemblage of more than 200 lights is much more classic than one might expect from Marshall, the zany “Big” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” director, whose daughter remembers her mom roaming around their ornate Los Angeles home in funky sneakers.
While she conceded it’s unlikely that collection will stay together, Reiner said “That would be amazing!” if one collector bought the whole lot.
One of the big-ticket items Reiner and her family is ready to part with is a painting by Donald Roller Wilson that has been a conversation piece for the show business personalities who visited Marshall’s Southern California home over the course of several decades.
“I grew up with everyone in the comedy world discussing that painting,” she chuckled. “I want someone else to talk about it now.”
That wall-sized piece is expected to fetch upward of $35,000.
The auctions includes multiple paintings, many with a classic Americana bent and several of which feature dogs. Marshall had a half-dozen pups that her canine-loving daughter can recall.
Another historic keepsake up for grabs is a 50-inch New York Daily News rolling newsstand cart valued at $300.
Tracy’s uncle — filmmaker Garry Marshall — once worked for the Daily News’ sports section and she suspects that cart was his at some point.
Reiner, whose father Rob Reiner was married to Marshall from 1971 to 1981, has been holed up in New Mexico since the pandemic began and has decided to stick around. While she has some of her mom’s stuff there, it won’t all fit.
“I thought I was going to do a little renovation and the world shut down,” she said of her home.
Reiner said she’s wondered if her mom’s collection of lamps, paintings, furniture sculptures and trinkets was some form of hoarding, but thinks too much thought and “passion” was put into the acquisitions for that to be the case. She has a hard time calculating what it’s all worth and is glad to let Abell Auction Co. deal with that side of things.
“My mom didn’t collect stuff just to sell it, and she wasn’t done,” Reiner said.
Marshall died in December 2018 in Los Angeles. The Bronx-born Yankees fan was 78.
Parting with her mom’s treasures might not be easy for Reiner, but as an actress who’s done dozens of films and TV shows, the 56-year-old performer has learned to roll with the punches. That includes being beaten out by Penelope Ann Miller for a role in 1990′s “Awakenings,” which she says, without missing a beat, was her favorite of the films her mom directed.
“That’s a movie, when I saw it and they were doing the test screenings, I just thought, ’Wow,’” she recalled.
Reiner admits it was “awkward” not getting the part in her mom’s movie, but she wasn’t worried she’d missed her shot at the big time.
“We’re a famously nepotistic family,” she concedes.
Part of the reason for that, Reiner said, is because you can yell at family on set without anyone quitting or getting in trouble. Penny first hit the spotlight in brother Garry’s series “The Odd Couple,” and he subsequently cast her in “Laverne & Shirley,” which made her a star.
Tracy managed to score parts in “A League of Their Own,” “Apollo 13,” “That Thing You Do,” and “The Princess Diaries,” but won’t be remembered as the zaniest Reiner on film.
“They’re all very funny and I cried in 20 movies,” she joked.
The Abell Gallery will host an an auction preview by appointment on Saturday at its Los Angeles facility, a day before the Abell.com online auction goes live.
While Reiner isn’t sure how much the auction will make, she said Marshall’s family “will continue following her map,” which has included contributions to charities supporting Negro League baseball, girls baseball, the military, veterans with traumatic brain injuries and retired sports figures and artists.