Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who created sitcom hits such as “The Odd Couple” and “Happy Days” and directed hit movies “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died on Tuesday.
He was aged 81.
Marshall died at 5 p.m. local time (0000 GMT) in Burbank, California, from complications of pneumonia after a stroke, his representative Michelle Bega said.
“The Odd Couple,” a hit sitcom created and produced by Marshall, began a five-year run on ABC in 1970. The show, starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, received Emmy nominations and wins for the comedy series based on Neil Simon’s play about two divorced men with different lifestyles who are forced to share an apartment.
Marshall’s “Happy Days” debuted as a television series on ABC in 1974, starting a 10-year run that saw Henry Winkler’s “the Fonz” become what Variety described as a cultural touchstone.
“Garry Marshall Rest In Peace. Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and generosity,” Winkler said on Twitter.
Marshall was the older brother of Penny Marshall, who played the unrefined but lovable Laverne DeFazio on “Laverne & Shirley,” a “Happy Days” sequel he co-created that ran on the ABC network from 1976 to 1983. It followed the lives of two single women and their nutty friends in 1950s and ’60s Milwaukee.
He also directed “Pretty Woman,” a big screen blockbuster in 1990 starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere that grossed $463 million worldwide. Roberts earned an Oscar nomination for best actress and the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for best comedy/musical.
“The Princess Diaries,” “Beaches” and “The Flamingo Kid,” were among other popular films Marshall had a hand in putting on the big screen.
In 1995, Marshall received the Valentine Davies Award and in 1996, he 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 and in 2014, he received the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement from the
Writers Guild of America.
Garry Marshall also has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.