Garry Marshall, creator of Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy and director of Pretty Woman, and The Princess Diaries, died Tuesday.
In 1970 Marshall had a big hit when he developed and exec produced an adaptation of Neil Simon’s play The Odd Couple for TV. In 2015 Marshall served as a consultant on a CBS remake of the series that starred Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon and even guest-starred this last season as Perry’s father.
Marshall wrote the 1971 pilot for Happy Days and George Lucas asked to see the pilot before casting a young Ron Howard in American Graffiti. During its peak, Happy Days was the No. 1 show on TV. Years later Marshall acknowledged being the behind the idea of putting Fonzie on water skis jumping over a shark whichspawned the phrase “jumped the shark,” said in reference to a show that will do anything for attention once it’s past its prime.
Happy Days gave birth to Laverne and Shirley which starred Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall, Garry’s sister, who went on to a director of feature films too.
Marshall hhad a string of moderate successes over his long career directing like Overboard, starring Goldie Hawn, chick flick Beaches (1988), starring Bette Midler and Frankie and Johnny, starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer.
The Princess Diaries was also big hit for Marshall as were the “Day” film series, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Day, and Mother’s Day.
Marshall started his long acting career playing a thug in Goldfinger. He wrote two books recently, his memoir Wake Me When It’s Funny and My Happy Days in Hollywood. He was 81.
(via The Daily Beast)