Actors as directors -- Penny Marshall, Clinte Eastwood, Ron Howard, and Leonard Nimoy have all made the jump

Want to know how to become a serious director like Awakenings‘ Penny Marshall? Find a job playing a TV character with a very silly name, just like these sitcom-costars-turned-big-screen-auteurs:

Penny Marshall
Silly TV Name: Laverne DeFazio on Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983)
Directorial Debut: Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986)
Bid for Respectability: Awakenings (1990)

Clint Eastwood
Silly TV Name: Rowdy Yates on Rawhide (1959-1966)
Directorial Debut: Play Misty for Me (1971)
Bid for Respectability: Bird (1988)

Ron Howard
Silly TV Name: Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968)
Directorial Debut: Grand Theft Auto (1977)
Bid for Respectability: Parenthood (1989)

Leonard Nimoy
Silly TV Name: Spock on Star Trek (1966-1969)
Directorial Debut: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Bid for Respectability: The Good Mother (1988)