Filmmaker Garry Marshall has died at the age of 81.
The Bronx-born director/producer was also an acclaimed writer and character actor. He began work as a joke writer in the 1960s before making the jump to television where he co-created “The Odd Couple” and went on to create “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley,” “Joanie Loves Chachi” and “Mork and Mindy” in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Also in the 1980s he made the jump to directing with “The Flamingo Kid” his first hit. It was the one-two punch of megahits “Beaches” and “Pretty Woman” that made him a household name. Other notable hits include the two “The Princess Diaries” features, “Runaway Bride,” “The Other Sister,” “Georgia Rule” and more recently three holiday-themed ensemble rom-coms capped off by this year’s “Mother’s Day”.
Over time Marshall also made a name for himself in acting circles, becoming a strong character actor and one of the few directors who often stole scenes with small but key supporting roles. He made key appearances in “Soapdish,” “A League of Their Own,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Never Been Kissed,” “The Majestic,” “Race to Witch Mountain” and had a regular role on “Murphy Brown” along with guest spots on “Louie,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “BoJack Horseman”.
Marshall is survived by his wife of over five decades Barbara, sisters Penny Marshall and Ronny Hallin, and three children.