Beloved Hollywood veteran Garry Marshall passed away at his home in California this week at the age of 81. A writer, director, producer, comedian, and actor, Marshall is credited with creating iconic series like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy and many more.
His work on the big screen was just as impressive, with Marshall helping to launch the careers of actors like Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway and directing instant classics like Beaches and Overboard.
The comedic timing Marshall honed as a writer for The Dick Van Dyck Show and The Lucy Show in the 1960s was just as sharp six decades into his career. Refusing to slow down with age, Marshall continued acting, most recently appearing on The Sarah Silverman Program, Louie, Brooklyn 99 and BoJack Horseman.
An outpouring of love from his many admirers, both fans and actors he worked with, began to flood social media today.
A hard day for those of us in the Garry camp. In reflection, I share some memories and feelings with you. Garry and I were shooting Mothers Day this past year my children came to visit the set. I was behind a wall about to do a scene waiting for the very words that every working actor is quite used to, “and….ACTION!” Much to my pleasant surprise the voice booming from behind the wall was my son, Ryder. I couldn’t help but smile and after we finished the scene both Garry and I shared a moment. We knew in an instant that so many things come full circle. That once upon a time that was me on his lap yelling ACTION for my mother and pa on Overboard in 1987. That in Garry’s words in that moment, “The circle of life is an amazing thing isn’t it…” In that moment he was more then my director, he was family. That moment meant way more then any success of any film. I looked around the set and saw faces I had known and seen since I was a little girl. In one flash of a moment there was so much recognition of how loyal, wonderful, kind, generous, funny and profound Garry was. He kept his loved ones close, he loved people, he loved making movies, he loved to laugh, he loved loved loved. And those of us who were fortunate to know him like this were so lucky. The messages Garry shared with the world truly represented his character. He wanted peace and the importance of family and connection to be at the forefront of everything he did. I have so much admiration for his purity of such loving messages. He created things that made us feel good because he just wanted people around him to be happy. Once while shooting Raising Helen, I was reaching for a laugh. I didn’t feel that a scene was going right and I wasn’t hitting the joke and I was incredibly frustrated. He came over to me and gently held my hand and said, “Kate, sometimes we don’t need to laugh, sometimes making us smile is even more important.” Garry wanted to see the world smile because he knew we all need more of that. To everyone in the Garry Marshall family, I love you all so much. I will miss you Garry ❤️ I love you.
I cannot possibly convey to you how much Garry Marshall meant to me. He was the kindest man you’d ever had met. His talent made me laugh more than most people ever have. I encourage you to get his book on tape. (You have to hear it in Gary’s voice.) He was a legend. RIP to one of the greatest comedy writer/directors to have ever lived on our tiny little rock.
A photo posted by Zach Braff (@zachbraff) on
A photo posted by Russell Peters (@russellpeters) on
Garry Marshall hired me at 15 years old. He gave my wife her start at 18, as a makeup artist. He changed our lives. And MANY others. #love
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) July 20, 2016
#GarryMarshall was one of the good ones! He always fought for what is right! He helped change this world in many ways. ❤️❤️❤️
— Lance Bass (@LanceBass) July 20, 2016
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) July 20, 2016
A photo posted by Anne Hathaway (@annehathaway) on
Marshall has one of the most successful careers in Hollywood history. Here are five films that act as the perfect introduction to the multi-talented entertainer.
1. The Princess Diaries
Marshall had an eye for seeking out new talent and 2001’s The Princess Diaries is a perfect example. Marshall cast newcomer Anne Hathaway as the lead role in her film debut. As if that wasn’t intimidating enough, the young actor starred opposite screen legend Julie Andrews, a high order for any thespian. The film was such a success that it spawned a follow up in 2004 and launched future Oscar winner Anne Hathaway’s career.
2. Valentine’s Day
While Valentine’s Day and its follow up New Year’s Eve were both panned by critics, the films showed two important facets of Marshall’s career. One, when the legendary director called, A-listers came running, even if it was only for a few minutes of screen time. Two, Marshall’s commitment to creating feel-good love stories is part of what made him such a revered director. Sometimes we just want to see a film that will make us smile, regardless of the cheese-factor.
3. Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day was released this past April and shot in 2015, when director Garry Marshall was 80 years old, putting into practice the adage ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’
4. A League of Their Own
The beloved 1992 film about the real women’s baseball league that ran during World War II was actually directed by Marshall’s sister, Penny Marshall. While Garry’s role in the film as league owner Walter Harvey is limited (though it does include one of the best back-and-forths with Tom Hanks), what A League of Their Own represents in Marshall’s career is his commitment to supporting women in film. Not only was the film directed by Marshall’s sister and starring a mostly all-female led cast, it focused on the role of women in and outside of the home during a transitional period in women’s history. In 1996, Marshall was honoured with the ‘Women In Film Lucy Award’ for his efforts in “enhancing the perception of women through the medium of television.”
5. Pretty Woman
Don’t think Pretty Woman is still inspiring countless films, writers and actors?