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Rob Reiner Is Happy with Wife of 32 Years Even Though Ex Penny Marshall Thought They Would Reunite

Busayo Ogunjimi
Feb 11, 2022
01:40 P.M.
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Rob Reiner and Penny Marshall were both in love at some point in their lives, and for the lady, that love was never totally smothered even after Reiner moved on. 

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Famous actor Rob Reiner and actress Penny Marshall had a love story that some would term epic. It saw the co-stars fighting for each other, love, and forgiveness. 

The two tried their best, but at the end of the day, their love story did not live for very long after their childhood years and adulthood had different things in store for them both. What happened to them, and how did Reiner find love again?  

Penny Marshall as Matty Perlman and Rob Reiner as Alan Corkus on set of the TV Movie "More Than Friends" in 1978 [left] Rob Reiner and Michele Reiner at the Premiere of Verticle Entertainment's "Shock And Awe" at The London West Hollywood on July 9, 2018 [right]. | Photo: Getty Images

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REINER AND MARSHALL'S RELATIONSHIP 

Reiner and Marshall grew up on the same street in the Bronx, albeit on opposite sides, but for some reason, they did not know each other then. 

In her memoir titled "My Mother Was Nuts," Marshall joked about how "wide" the street had been. Instead, the pair first met each other while attending The Committee, a repertory group. 

According to Reiner, the content of his pockets had been very similar to hers, and that had been enough to get them acquainted. Marshall was immediately attracted to Reiner; however, the man had not felt the same — at first. 

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He had been going through an identity crisis when they met, but she was afraid it was her fault for telling him about how she felt. Even when they tentatively started courting, Reiner was still planning to move in with another woman. 

Fortunately, Reiner changed his mind and settled with Marshall after one of their many dates led them to her home. Towards the end of 1970, Reiner and Marshall auditioned for roles on the sitcom "All in the Family" — he tested to play Michael "Meathead" Stivic while she tried out for the part of his on-screen wife, Gloria Bunker.

Reiner got the part, but Marshall did not. They could not play spouses then, but later on, the two played the roles of besties that turned into lovers in the film "More Than Friends."  

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A year and a half after they first met, the couple took their relationship to the next level in an impromptu wedding ceremony held on April 10, 1970 — immediately after Reiner finished shooting episode 13 of his now-famous sitcom.

Later on, Marshall got rewarded for her portrayal of secretary Myrna Turner on her brother Garry Marshall's show "The Odd Couple." Reiner also guest-starred as a potential lover. 

Reiner gatecrashed their lunch to get her attention and landed a clean shot.

Despite her talent, Marshall did not achieve stardom until her famous "Happy Days" character, Laverne DeFazio, was featured in a spin-off of the series "Laverne & Shirley."

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The couple seemed suited to each other for some time after their marriage; Reiner even adopted Tracy Henry — Marshall's daughter from her marriage to John Henry — however, trouble still found a way into their lives. 

It began after "All in the Family" was canceled, and Reiner was finding it hard to find creative outlets while Marshall seemed to soar higher, primarily due to the success of her hit series. 

In 1981, after a decade of marriage, the two filed for divorce. There are rumors that the disparity in their success caused envy to bleed into the union. 

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One would think the two would become enemies after that, but the reverse was the case. Instead, the two got on well and were always connected by Tracy — they even reportedly shared professional tips long after. 

Marshall would later reveal in 2016 that they had both expected to get back together when they got older, but then Reiner found another woman, and Marshall just had to accept it. 

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THE OTHER WOMAN

Reiner found love again thanks to his career as an entertainer — the same thing that cost him his relationship with Marshall. His troubled love life inspired the famous comedy film "When Harry Met Sally..." and coincidentally, the film's creation helped him discover romance again. 

He had been chatting with Barry Sonnenfeld, "When Harry Met Sally's" cinematographer, in Los Angeles before taping started when Sonnenfeld decided to play matchmaker. He told Reiner:

"I know this girl, Her name is Michele Singer, and you're going to marry her." 

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Rob Reiner at the Friar's Club Entertainment Icon Award on November 12, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

Reiner was shocked and asked if he was nuts. The woman Sonnenfeld referred to was a photographer who was also friends with Susan Ringo, Sonnenfeld's then-fiancée, whom he is still married to now.  

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Susan had been the one who brought Singer along with her to the set when photography began in New York back in early October 1987. 

Reiner can still vividly recall what happened on the day they got introduced. They had been shooting a scene that had been interrupted when he noticed Singer. Reiner recalled

"I was attracted immediately."

Rob Reiber and Michele Singer Reiner attends the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner at Washington Hilton on April 28, 2018 in Washington, DC | Photo: Getty Images

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And Barry told him that was Michele. However, to get her attention, Reiner gatecrashed their lunch and landed a clean shot when he said, "You know, you really shouldn't smoke. It's not good for your health."Singer retorted that he should not also be that fat.

His romance with Singer motivated Reiner, whose works usually have ties to something happening in his life or something that had occurred in the past, to change "How Harry Met Sally's" ending. 

Michele Singer Reiner and director Rob Reiner attend the "Shock and Awe" red carpet on day four of the 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival held at the Madinat Jumeriah Complex on December 9, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Photo: Getty Images

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Originally the script had the two drift apart only to stumble into each other years later, after which they caught up and went their separate ways. He said:

"We had an ending where they didn't get together. But I met [Singer] three-quarters of the way through the movie, and I thought, 'Oh, well, I see how this could work again.'"

He was right because they have celebrated more than two decades of marriage and have three kids together. 

Rob Reiner attends the LA Premiere Of Neon's "The Biggest Little Farm" at the Landmark Theater on May 07, 2019 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

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When he speaks about her, Reiner is always quick to praise her for holding their family and marriage together and being in control while he "flops along." He says they have remained happily married because they learned how to create time for themselves. 

MARSHALL AFTER REINER

Marshall once admitted in 2016 that she and Reiner stayed together because of pride, and deep down, she seemed to think they would get back together, but that never happened. 

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After they broke up, Penny Marshall got involved with a boomer icon named Art Garfunkel, one of the top two musicians in the band Simon & Garfunkel. 

The relationship never led anywhere, though, and soon it was over. Marshall thought it was a shame that she and Reiner could not get back together, but she accepted it, choosing to live her life as happily as she could. 

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At 75, Marshall passed away at her home on a Monday night from diabetes complications. When Reiner got the tragic news, he took to his Twitter to express his sadness. The actor/director wrote in a tweet:

"I loved Penny. I grew up with her, She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funny bone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her."

Other A-list celebrities also shared similar tributes, and none had a bad word to say about the woman whose talent brought joy and love to many hearts. 

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