Garry Kent Marshall (November 13, 1934 – July 19, 2016) was an American film director, film producer, screenwriter and actor, best known for creating Happy Days and its various spin-offs, developing Neil Simon's 1965 play The Odd Couple for television, and directing Pretty Woman, Beaches, Runaway Bride, Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day, The Princess Diaries, and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
Early life Garry Kent Marshall was born in The Bronx, New York on November 13, 1934, the son of Anthony Wallace Marshall (1906–99), a director of industrial films and later a producer, and Marjorie Irene (née Ward; 1908-1983), a tap dance teacher who ran a tap dance school. He was the brother of actress/director Penny Marshall and Ronny Marshall Hallin, a television producer. His father was of Italian descent, his family having come from San Martino sulla Marrucina, Chieti, Abruzzo, and his mother was of German, English, and Scottish ancestry. His father changed his last name from Masciarelli to Marshall before Garry was born. Marshall was baptized Presbyterian and also raised Lutheran for a time.
He attended De Witt Clinton High School and Northwestern University, where he wrote a sports column for The Daily Northwestern, and is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Marshall began his career as a joke writer for such comedians as Joey Bishop and Phil Foster and became a writer for The Tonight Show with Jack Paar.
In 1961, he moved to Hollywood, where he teamed up with Jerry Belson as a writer for television. The pair worked on The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Joey Bishop Show, The Danny Thomas Show, and The Lucy Show. Their first television series as creator-producers was Hey, Landlord, which lasted one season (1966–67). Then they adapted Neil Simon's play The Odd Couple for television.
On his own, Marshall created Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley (starring his sister Penny), and Mork and Mindy, which were produced by his associates Thomas L. Miller, Robert L. Boyett, and Edward K. Milkis. He was also a co-creator of Makin' It, which the three men also produced.
In the early 1980s, he met Héctor Elizondo while playing basketball and became great friends. Elizondo appeared in every film that Marshall directed, beginning with his first feature film Young Doctors in Love. Elizondo once noted that he is written into all of Marshall's contracts whether he wanted to do the film or not.
In the opening credits of Exit to Eden (their eighth film together), Elizondo is credited "As Usual ... Hector Elizondo." In 1984, Marshall had a film hit as the writer and director of The Flamingo Kid.
Marshall wore many hats during this period of his career: Most of his hit television series were created and executive produced by him. His first producing assignment came with Hey, Landlord in 1966. He stepped up the very next year, producing The Lucy Show. Then came successes in producing The Odd Couple, Laverne and Shirley, Blansky's Beauties, Mork and Mindy, Angie, and Happy Days. He launched independent productions through his theater (The Falcon in Toluca Lake) and in association with productions launched with talent he was grooming and working with for years.
One such project titled Four Stars was directed by Lynda Goodfriend (who portrayed Lori Beth in Happy Days), and was based on a play Goodfriend had read when she was studying at the Lee Strasberg Center, which had been written by John Schulte and Kevin Mahoney. It starred Julie Paris (the daughter of Jerry Paris) and Bert Kramer. Schulte later co-wrote with TV veteran writer and producer, Fred Fox, Jr., who penned and produced a number of Marshall's television series, including Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley.
Marshall went on to focus on directing feature films, with a series of hits, such as Beaches, Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, Valentine's Day, and New Year's Eve.
Marshall was also an actor, appearing in Murphy Brown and in such films as Soapdish, On the Lot, and provided a guest-starring voice for The Simpsons episodes Eight Misbehavin' and Homer the Father. He also appeared in two episodes of Happy Days as a drummer.
His theater credits included Wrong Turn at Lungfish, which he wrote in collaboration with Lowell Ganz, The Roast with Jerry Belson, Shelves and Happy Days: A New Musical with Paul Williams, which had its premiere at the Falcon Theater in Burbank, California, February 24, 2006. He portrayed the role of "director" on Burbank's "Lights... camera... action!" float in the 2014 Rose Parade. In 2014, Marshall appeared in a guest star role in a February episode in season 11 of Two and a Half Men.
His son Scott Marshall is a director and his daughter Kathleen Marshall is an actress and producer. In 1997, he co-authored the memoir Wake Me When It's Funny with his daughter Lori Marshall.
On the morning of July 19, 2016, Marshall died at a hospital in Burbank, California at the age of 81 due to complications of pneumonia after suffering a stroke.
Gary Marshall is buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Awards and nominations
In 1996, Marshall was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of excellence and innovation in creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame for his contributions to the field of television in 1997.
In 2012, he was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters' Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Marshall received the Valentine Davies Award (1995) and Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement (2014) from the Writers Guild of America.
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6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
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10. Staiger, Janet (October 1, 2000). Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era. NYU Press. ISBN 9780814783511.
11. "Makin' It | TV Series | 1978" Hollywood.com. February 3, 2015.
12. Kung, Michelle (August 20, 2004). "Loyal Subject" Entertainment Weekly.
13. Eisenberg, Eric (September 20, 2012). "Brett Ratner Producing Remake Of The Flamingo Kid". CINEMABLEND.
14. "The Museum of Broadcast Communications - Encyclopedia of Television - Marshall, Garry" museum.tv.
15. "Every Generation Has Its Zorro - Untitled Document". markets.financialcontent.com.
16. Gerard, Jeremy (February 22, 1993). "Review: 'Wrong Turn at Lungfish'"
17. "The Roast @ Winter Garden Theatre | Playbill" Playbill.
18. Williams, Paul; Marshall, Garry (January 1, 2010). Happy Days: A New Musical. Samuel French, Inc. ISBN 9780573698293.
19. "Happy Days Musical, With McIntyre, Returns to CA's Falcon This Summer"
20. "TV, film legend Garry Marshall dies at 81". USA Today. July 19, 2016.
21. Reporter, Nick Visser (July 19, 2016). "Director Garry Marshall Dead At 81" The Huffington Post.
22. "Past Recipients" Wif.org. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011.
23. "Garry Marshall, Legendary Hollywood Producer, Director and Writer, Dies at 81"
24. "Garry Marshall Inducted into NAB Hall of Fame"
25. "Writer-Producer-Director Garry Marshall to Receive 2014 WGAW Television Laurel Award" awards.wga.org.
26. Pedersen, Erik (July 20, 2016). "Garry Marshall Dies: 'Happy Days' Creator and 'Pretty Woman' Helmer Was 81"
Marshall, Garry (1995). Wake Me When It's Funny: How to Break into Show Business and Stay There. Newmarket Press. ISBN 1-55704-288-8.