'The Odd Couple' Star Remembers Garry Marshall: "He Was Like a Superhero Created From a Massive Overdose of Hugs"

The Odd Couple S01E03 Still - H 2015
Michael Yarish/CBS

The Odd Couple S01E03 Still - H 2015

Thomas Lennon remembers the late Hollywood icon.

On the heels of Garry Marshall's passing, The Odd Couple co-star Thomas Lennon remembers the Hollywood icon, who decided he didn't simply want to lend his name to the CBS update. 

My first encounter with Garry Marshall was filled with dread. I was walking to the first table read of The Odd Couple when I saw a parking space with his name on it. I suddenly felt very queasy. “Oh, shit.” I thought. “Garry Marshall’s not coming to the table read, is he? I don’t think I can do this in front of him. I don’t even think I SHOULD do this in front of him.”

But a few minutes later, I was reading Felix Unger, while seated about six feet away from Garry — the creator of the original series. It was probably the most nervous I have ever been. This was before I knew anything about him. 

It turns out, of course, that Garry Marshall was like a superhero created from a massive overdose of hugs. Endlessly supportive, creative, hilarious. Whole rooms of people would suddenly smile, like a reflex, when Garry entered. Standing next to Garry, taping a sitcom — sometimes I felt like 10-year-old me was dreaming it all up.

I will miss him so much. He was the friendliest giant you could ever meet.