Garry Marshall, prolific director, writer, and actor, died on Tuesday (July 19). He was 81 years old. His death, confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, was caused by complications from pneumonia following a recent stroke at a Los Angeles hospital.
Marshall’s legendary career in Hollywood spans more than five decades. His early television credits include Happy Days, The Odd Couple, and Laverne and Shirley (starring his little sister Penny Marshall, who would go on to direct Big and A League of Their Own) in the 1970s. After mastering the art of the television comedy, Marshall made the jump to the big screen, where he helmed such heartfelt classics as The Flamingo Kid, Overboard, Beaches, Frankie and Johnny, Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, and The Princess Diaries.
Known for his upbeat nature and generous spirit, Marshall had a knack for fostering young talent. His film Pretty Woman transformed Julia Roberts into America's Sweetheart all but overnight in the ’90s — and in 2001, The Princess Diaries, which he directed, catapulted Anne Hathaway, then 18, into Hollywood superstardom.
He also gave the late comedian Robin Williams his big break in 1978 when he cast the then-unknown as the quirky alien lead in Mork & Mindy. Not to mention that his first leading man, Happy Days’s Ron Howard, is now an Oscar-winning director in his own right.
Marshall’s peers, and those who were lucky enough to be in his presence, took to social media to honor their longtime friend and mentor:
Marshall made a career out of celebrating the human spirit. His cheerful approach to filmmaking — and the joy he captured on film — will undoubtedly be missed.
“I have a good time and try to be positive,” Marshall told Uproxx earlier this year. “We know what the real world is. Not doing so good, the real world. It's better, my made-up world. And we have a better time.”
Thanks for all of the laughs, Garry.