Flowers were placed on the Walk of Fame star of Garry Marshall Wednesday, as Hollywood mourned the death of the prolific film and television writer, director and actor.
Marshall died at 5 p.m. Tuesday at a hospital in Burbank from complications of pneumonia following a stroke, according to Michelle Bega, a vice president with publicity firm Rogers & Cowan. He was 81.
Marshall created the hit 1970s ABC comedies “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy” and produced the original television version of “The Odd Couple,” which ran on ABC in 1970-75. He was the executive consultant for the CBS version, which premiered last year.
Marshall also directed 18 films, including “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries.”
Marshall recently completed a rewrite of the book for the Broadway-bound musical version of “Pretty Woman.”
He appeared in “A League of Their Own,” directed by his sister Penny, and had a recurring role on the 1990s CBS comedy “Murphy Brown.” He portrayed the father of Oscar Madison (Matthew Perry) in an episode of “The Odd Couple” which aired on April 28.
Richard Gere, who starred in “Pretty Woman” along with Julia Roberts, praised Marshall as “one of those truly important people one is blessed to meet in one’s lifetime.”
“Besides being the pulse and life force of ‘Pretty Woman’ … a steady helmsman on a ship that could have easily capsized … he was a super fine and decent man, husband and father who brought real joy and love and infectious good spirits to every thing and everyone he crossed paths with,” Gere said.
“Everyone loved Garry. He was a mentor and a cheerleader and one of the funniest men who ever lived. He had a heart of the purest gold and a soul full of mischief. He was Garry.”
Robert Iger, president/CEO of The Walt Disney Co., hailed Marshall for his “incredible knack for finding and telling stories that resonate in the moment and also stand the test of time.”
“He was a beloved part of the family at ABC and Disney, creating an incredible string of iconic hits from ‘Happy Days’ to ‘Princess Diaries,”‘ Iger said. “We consider it a great personal privilege to have known him and will miss his great talent and wonderful humor.”
Henry Winkler, whose role as The Fonz on “Happy Days” made him a star, took to Twitter to thank Marshall “for my professional life.”
“Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and generosity,” Winkler wrote, adding that he was “larger than life, funnier than most, wise and the definition of friend.”
Fellow “Happy Days” star-turned-director Ron Howard called Marshall “a world-class boss and mentor whose creativity and leadership meant a ton to me.”
A simple tribute of “We Miss You” was placed on the marquee of Marshall’s Falcon Theatre in Burbank.
In addition to his sister, Marshall is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara Sue Marshall; another sister, Ronny Hallin; three children, Kathleen, Lori and Scott Marshall; and six grandchildren.
Funeral services will be private but a memorial is being planned for his birthday on Nov. 13.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Marshall’s name can be made to The Saban Community Clinic, the Intensive Care Unit at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank and Northwestern University Undergraduate Scholarship Fund.
—City News Service
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