Hollywood Mourns 'Happy Days' Creator Garry Marshall

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Garry Marshall on the set of 'Mother's Day'

The man behind 'Laverne & Shirley,' 'The Odd Couple' and 'Mork & Mindy' died Tuesday.

Garry Marshall, who created and executive produced some of the most popular sitcoms on TV died Tuesday at 81.

The creator or producer behind Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple and Mork & Mindy, as well as director of the box-office smash Pretty Woman, his most recent film was the April release Mother's Day. 

Pretty Woman star Richard Gere remembered Marshall in a statement sent to The Hollywood Reporter: "Garry, of course, was one of those truly important people one is blessed to meet in one's lifetime. Besides being the pulse and life force of Pretty Woman ... a steady helmsman on a ship that could have easily capsized ... he was a super fine and decent man, husband and father who brought real joy and love and infectious good spirits to every thing and everyone he crossed paths with. Everyone loved Garry. He was a mentor and a cheerleader and one of the funniest men who ever lived. He had a heart of the purest gold and a soul full of mischief. He was Garry."

Julie Andrews, who starred in Marshall's 2001 film The Princess Diaries, said, "I'm devastated to hear of Garry's passing. He was a dear friend and colleague ... generous to a fault. My heart goes out to Barbara and the entire family. We shall miss him."

Disney CEO Bob Iger said, "Garry Marshall was an original, with an incredible knack for finding and telling stories that resonate in the moment and also stand the test of time. He was also a beloved part of the family at ABC and Disney, creating an incredible string of iconic hits from Happy Days to Princess Diaries. We consider it a great personal privilege to have known him and will miss his great talent and wonderful humor."

Producer Paula Wagner, who was working with Marshall on a Pretty Woman musical said, "I loved being in the room with him while we were at work. Garry read the stage directions for our first reading. It was fascinating to watch because he stole the show with his distinct voice and enthusiasm. He brought such heart and fun to the reading. Garry had a manner of speaking that put everyone at ease and yet he had a very clear vision. He could be pointed and focused, yet share his ideas and thoughts in a very amusing and gracious way. He took great pride and delight from Pretty Woman and I know he would have wanted us to continue on and therefore we will bring this story to Broadway. Pretty Woman the musical will be a reminder of his humanity, his heart and his sense of humor."

Anson Williams, who played Potsie on Happy Days, said this of the TV creator: "Garry Marshall gave me the opportunity of many lifetimes and, more importantly, genuine love and friendship; a love that transcended far beyond show business. Garry's selfless nurturing of talent will be past on to future generations along with all that he has created. Two of my young daughters' favorite TV show segment? The Odd Couple, "Hospital Mates," written by Garry Marshall ... Garry, you are forever with us and I love you."

Don Most, who played Ralph on the series, added: "Garry was a uniquely creative force. It was a great pleasure and treat to see him work, and work with him. And on top of this, he was a warm and generous man, who always fostered a feeling of family with our cast. We lost a giant today."

Said Marion Ross, the mom on the show: "Garry was such a kind, wonderful man. For Garry, making Happy Days was just 'children at play.' I'll miss him forever."

Murphy Brown creator Diane English said, "Garry played the head of the fictional network on Murphy Brown during its last seasons. He loved doing it, and anytime he was on set it was special. People may not realize that he was as gifted a comic actor as he was a writer and director. I'm not one for actors ad-libbing lines but we let him do it because he always knocked it out of the park. We loved him. We miss him."

He also helmed such movies as Young Doctors in Love (1982), The Flamingo Kid (1984), Nothing in Common (1986), Overboard (1987), Beaches (1988), Frankie and Johnny (1991), Dear God (1996), The Other Sister (1999), Runaway Bride (1999), The Princess Diaries (2001), Valentine’s Day (2010) and New Year’s Eve (2011).

The prolific creator/producer/director left several fans behind who took to social media to mourn him. 

 

I have been fortunate in the sense that I have not lost many people that have made a significant, life changing impact to my world. Today, we lost someone who not only changed my life, but changed and touched the lives of so many others. Through his work, Garry Marshall was able to make us laugh, cry, feel joy and pride one moment, and the next, utter sadness. But he always did this in a beautiful way that made for such fantastic and timeless films. Each moment I spent with Garry on the set of Mother's Day was perfect, and is something I am so honored to have experienced. It's also something I look forward to telling my children about. I will always remember his infectious laugh and his joyful spirit. I am so grateful to of been able to be in his world, even for a small moment. Garry, you will be truly missed...

A photo posted by Shay Mitchell (@shaym) on

 

A hard day for those of us in the Garry camp. In reflection, I share some memories and feelings with you. Garry and I were shooting Mothers Day this past year my children came to visit the set. I was behind a wall about to do a scene waiting for the very words that every working actor is quite used to, "and....ACTION!" Much to my pleasant surprise the voice booming from behind the wall was my son, Ryder. I couldn't help but smile and after we finished the scene both Garry and I shared a moment. We knew in an instant that so many things come full circle. That once upon a time that was me on his lap yelling ACTION for my mother and pa on Overboard in 1987. That in Garry's words in that moment, "The circle of life is an amazing thing isn't it..." In that moment he was more then my director, he was family. That moment meant way more then any success of any film. I looked around the set and saw faces I had known and seen since I was a little girl. In one flash of a moment there was so much recognition of how loyal, wonderful, kind, generous, funny and profound Garry was. He kept his loved ones close, he loved people, he loved making movies, he loved to laugh, he loved loved loved. And those of us who were fortunate to know him like this were so lucky. The messages Garry shared with the world truly represented his character. He wanted peace and the importance of family and connection to be at the forefront of everything he did. I have so much admiration for his purity of such loving messages. He created things that made us feel good because he just wanted people around him to be happy. Once while shooting Raising Helen, I was reaching for a laugh. I didn't feel that a scene was going right and I wasn't hitting the joke and I was incredibly frustrated. He came over to me and gently held my hand and said, "Kate, sometimes we don't need to laugh, sometimes making us smile is even more important." Garry wanted to see the world smile because he knew we all need more of that. To everyone in the Garry Marshall family, I love you all so much. I will miss you Garry I love you.

A photo posted by Kate Hudson (@katehudson) on

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