HOLLYWOOD—The writer and director known for his works such as the television show “The Odd Couple” and the movie “Pretty Woman”, Garry Marshall died on July 19 at the age of 81. Marshall died in Burbank due to complications from pneumonia after having a stroke.
Celebrities took to Twitter to share their grief at the passing of the director. Henry Winkler, who played the character “Fonzie” on Marshall’s show “Happy Days,”, posted on Twitter, “GARRY MARSHALL Rest In Peace… Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty , friendship and generosity.”
“Oh Garry Marshall, I will miss your soothing comedic voice that can be heard in all of our favorite movies and sitcoms for the past 50 years,” Emily Osment posted on Twitter.
“Garry Marshall was everything one could hope in a family man and talented artist who LOVED his life and art,” said Jaime Lee Curtis on Twitter. “A mentor to many.”
“If you never met Garry Marshall, I’m sorry,” said Thomas Lennon who plays the character “Felix Unger” on the rebooted version of “The Odd Couple” that Marshall was a consultant on. “We was a joy to be around. He shaped my childhood and by surprise — my adulthood. His humor and enthusiasm filled huge rooms.”
Marshall began his career in the 1960s by selling jokes to comedians. His television career began when he started writing for “The Tonight Show” with Jack Paar in New York. Jerry Belson, his then-writing partner, and Marshall wrote for such shows as “The Lucy Show,” “The Danny Thomas Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
His movie career began in 1967 with the movie “How Sweet It Is” starring James Garner and Debbie Reynolds. He adapted the play “The Odd Couple” into a television show in 1970, and in 1979 he had three sitcoms on the air: “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy,” which starred Robin Williams.
He went from writing to directing movies in the 1980s with “Nothing in Common” in 1986 starring Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason. In 1990, he directed “Pretty Woman” starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and directed the pair again in 1999 with “Runaway Bride.”
In 2001, he directed “The Princess Diaries” starring Anne Hathaway. His last writer credit was for the 2016 movie “Mother’s Day” starring Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Jason Sudekis.
Marshall was born on November 13, 1934 in New York, New York as Garry Kent Maschiarelli. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and three children Lori, Kathleen and Scott. His funeral services will be private, but his publicist said there is a memorial planned for his birthday on November 13.