Garry Marshall, Happy Days Creator and Filmmaker, Dead at 81

Garry Marshall Dead

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.

Access Hollywood was first to report on the legend’s passing; per TMZ, he died from complications from pneumonia.

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

Jason Alexander, Pretty Woman

Goldie Hawn, Overboard

Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries

Sarah Paulson, The Other Sister

GET MORE: In Memoriam