Garry Marshall, whose contributions to screens small and big included Happy Days and the original TV adaptation of The Odd Couple, died on Tuesday at age 81.
A Bronx native and brother to actress/director Penny Marshall and TV producer Ronny Marshall Hallin, Marshall started out his career as a writer for Jack Paar’s Tonight Show, The Joey Bishop Hour and The Dick Van Dyke Show. From there, he went on to develop for TV an adaptation of the Neil Simon play The Odd Couple, before creating Happy Days (which was born of a segment on the Love, American Style anthology series).
The ’50s-set Happy Days would launch the multi-hyphenate career of Ron Howard and make Henry Winkler a teen icon, as well as spawn the offshoots Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy and (the short-lived) Joanie Loves Chachi.
His TV creations also includes the Donna Pescow-fronted Angie, Blansky’s Beauties, The Brian Keith Show and Hey, Landlord.
As a TV actor, Marshall was featured on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and played Murphy Brown‘s Stan Lansing. His other credits include Brothers and Sisters, Louie and, most recently, a guest spot on CBS’ The Odd Couple reboot.
For the big screen, Marshall directed several seminal films, including The Flamingo Kid, Beaches, Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries.
Marshall also penned the autobiography Wake Me When It’s Funny: How to Break into Show Business and Stay There, which I personally cannot recommend enough. Tremendous, compelling (and funny) yarns.
I leave you with Happy Days‘ original opening credits, plus some remembrances from those Marshall worked with:
Henry Winkler, Happy Days
Scott Baio, Happy Days
Thomas Lennon, The Odd Couple
Yvette Nicole Brown, The Odd Couple
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Dear kind Sir. What a profound honor it was to know you. My life and the lives of anyone who has ever been blessed to meet you, know you, work with you or watch something you lovingly created will NEVER be the same. I am heart-broken by the news of your passing and can only imagine what your family and dear friends are feeling. There are truly no words that can properly express the fullness of JOY you brought into the world, but I had to at least try to pay homage to you in some way. You are #Love and I'm so glad I got to share space on this earth with you. #RIP #GarryMarshall
Jason Alexander, Pretty Woman
Goldie Hawn, Overboard
Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries
Sarah Paulson, The Other Sister