Laverne DeFazio is one of the main characters on Laverne & Shirley who appears in 177 of the 178 episdoes of the series. The character was played by Penny Marshall, who also played the character in five guest appearances of its' parent TV series, ABC-TV's Happy Days. Leverne also appears in the pilot episode of another popular Happy Days spinoff, Mork & Mindy, as well as the short-lived spinoff ABC-TV's Blansky's Beauties in the episode "I Remember Laverne".
Laverne is known for being a tough-talking tomboy. She was born and, in her early childhood years, grew up in Brooklyn, NY with her Italian immigrant parents. Laverne's parents lated moved to Milwaukee when she was about 11 years old, where her mother soon later died.
Laverne worked alongside best friend and roommate Shirley Feeney, whom she's known since moving to Milwaukee as a child. They attended high school together, and worked together as bottlecappers at Shotz Brewery there in Milwaukee, before packing up and moving to California, along with her father Frank DeFazio and his new wife, Edna Babish, who was the landlord of the apartment building in which they shared an apartment together for 5 years. Her other friends included Lenny, Squiggy, Shirley's boyfriend Carmine, Rhonda, and even good ole Rosie Greenbaum (although it's more of a "frenemy" relationship as they often feud with each other). The same thing can be said about she and Shirley's relationship with Rhonda Lee, a tall, blonde buxom actress/model whom they meet upon their move to Burbank.
The two, Laverne and Shirley soon would find jobs as gift wrappers at Bard's Department Store in Burbank, CA, where she would meet a stuntman and aspiring actor named Sonny St. Jacues (Ed Marinaro) and begin dating him for several episodes.
Milk and Pepsi is Laverne's favorite drink. Her trademark is the script letter "L" monogrammed on her shirts and sweaters, an idea Marshall got from seeing a vintage sweater in the wardrobe department with an initial sewn in the upper left corner, something that would help the audience remember that she is Laverne.
Laverne came close twice to marrying; she almost married a sailor named Sal Malina, although she didn't love him. Another was a fireman named Randy (also played by Marinaro), whom she began dating while in Milwaukee, but he died in the line of duty. Unlike her friend Shirley, who winds up marrying an Army doctor named Walter Feeney. Laverne's never been married.