Garry Marshall, the classic storyteller, suffered from a series of strokes that ultimately caused his death on July 19, 2016. He was 81 years old. According to “USA Today,” he died at 5:00 p.m. PT from pneumonia, “following a stroke, at a hospital in Burbank, California.”
Marshall has filled audience’s hearts worldwide with the hope for love and the reassurance of how much love matters in his classic stories. Julia Roberts said:
To know Garry Marshall was to love him. And I was luckier than most to have loved him for my entire adult life and luckier still to have been loved by him because his love was unconditional, inexhaustible and magical.
To many, Marshall was a generous soul, providing bright opportunities for future stars and their beginnings. He is a credited Hollywood household name. Marshall is known for creating a splendor of upbeat, iconic comedic classics in both television and film including: “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Princess Diaries,” and “Laverne and Shirley.” He introduced the world to the late great Robin Williams in “Mork and Mindy.”
Born in the Bronx, N.Y., on Nov. 13, 1934, Marshall’s father was a movie director and his mother was a dance instructor. He credits his mother with introducing him to self-deprecating humor, which became a major tool in his career. Marshall graduated from Northwestern University where he studied journalism after realizing the importance of words and how much they matter.
In 1956, Marshall was a soldier in South Korea. He worked for “The Daily News” when he returned to New York and wrote jokes for comedians, such as Joey Bishop. Marshall stuck to his comedic routines throughout his time as a writer and moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s. Marshall’s success as a classic storyteller only grew from there.
- In 1970, Marshall adapted Neil Simon’s comedy play, “The Odd Couple,” into a television series that lasted a successful five seasons.
- In 1977, he released the classic television hit, “Happy Days,” showcasing American culture icon, The Fonz. Many stars, such as Henry Winkler, attribute Marshall for their overall success because of his directorial contribution.
- In 1987, he directed Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell in the romantic hit comedy “Overboard.”
- In 1988, a classic tale about friendship starring Bette Middler in “Beaches”.
- Marshall will always be remembered by audiences who fell in love with the 1990 romantic comedy classic, “Pretty Woman,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
- In 2001, he directed Anne Hathaway in the hit teen comedy, “The Princess Diaries.”
- In 2010, Marshall created ensemble casts to join “Valentine’s Day,” followed by “New Year’s Day” in 2015, and “Mother’s Day” in 2016.
When not directing for film, Marshall contributed his writing efforts for the stage. He co-wrote for off-Broadway productions in 1980, such as “Wrong Turn at Lungfish” and co-wrote the Broadway production of “The Roast.” Furthermore, he wrote his own play titled “Shelves” and co-founded the Falcon Theatre with his daughter, Kathleen. Marshall, a multi-award winner for his diverse efforts, occasionally directed opera and was an actor, starring in small roles in his personal productions, as well as his family’s.
The world lost an illuminated touch from a classic storyteller, but the teacher indeed left an undulated mark on his students. Ashton Kutcher posted on his Twitter feed, “I hope I get to go where you are.” Saying goodbye to indefinable talent, charm, courage, and generosity is never an easy task; no matter the person’s notoriety.
By Andrea Lopez
Edited by Cathy Milne
The New York Times: Garry Marshall, ‘Pretty Woman’ Director, Dies at 81; a TV and Film Comedy Mastermind
The Seattle Times: Writer-director Garry Marshall, of ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Pretty Woman,’ dies at 81
E! News: Julia Roberts Breaks Her Silence on Garry Marshall’s Death: “His Love Was Unconditional”
USA TODAY: TV, film legend Garry Marshall dies at 81
Image Courtesy of Louise Palanker’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License