R.I.P. Garry Marshall: 1934 – 2016

There’s sad news to report from Hollywood today with the word that legendary writer/director/producer/actor/jack of all trades Garry Marshall died yesterday from pneumonia at the age of 81. After beginning his lengthy career as a writer on The Tonight Show with Jack Parr, he gained acclaim for bringing The Odd Couple off the stage an onto the small screen, with the pairing of Tony Randall and Jack Klugman remaining one of the greatest comedy teams in television history. He later went on to create or co-create a number of television series that won legions of fans and immeasurably impacted the pop culture landscape — among these are Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and Mork and Mindy (all of which also led to their own cartoon spinoffs, a topic which will be covered at length in an upcoming MovieFanFare article). His considerable talents were also evident on movie screens, where he helped establish Julia Roberts as a global movie star with her work on 1990’s Pretty Woman. His other theatrical efforts range from the underrated soap opera spoof Young Doctors in Love to more mainstream fare like The Runaway Bride, Beaches, The Princess Diaries, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. By all accounts he was one of the nicest and helpful people in the entertainment industry, and while he has left us, his work will continue to resonate with audiences for decades to come. Thanks for all the laughs Mr. Marshall, you changed the world for the better through your work.