The famed film and TV director died Tuesday, leaving behind timeless classics.
By LUCHINA FISHER
July 20, 2016, 9:01 PM
• 4 min read
-- Film and TV director Garry Marshall is being remembered today by the many stars who were privileged to work with him.
Marshall, who was 81, passed away on Tuesday "from complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, California," his spokeswoman told ABC News in a statement.
The majority of us will remember Marshall through his films and TV shows. A prolific director, Marshall began his career creating the iconic sitcoms "Happy Days," "Laverne & Shirley" and "Mork & Mindy." He switched to the big screen in 1982, directing a total of 18 films, including several in his later years. Marshall had just completed a rewrite of the book for the Broadway version of his hit film "Pretty Woman" when he died.
A generation of folks grew up with the Fonz, Richie, Joanie, Potsie, Ralph and Chachi on Marshall's hit sitcom "Happy Days," which ran for a decade starting in 1974. The show launched the careers of Ron Howard, Scott Baio and Henry Winkler, who thanked the late director "for my professional life." You can still catch reruns on Hulu.
The show also led to the spinoff "Laverne & Shirley," which starred Marshall's sister, the actress and director Penny Marshall. A second spinoff, "Mork & Mindy," also became a hit, starting in 1978 and featured a then-unknown Robin Williams.
Marshall's first foray in film was the 1982 film "Young Doctors in Love," in which he cast his buddy Hector Elizondo, who would go on to star in every film Marshall made. That was followed by his first hit, 1984's "Flamingo Kid," starring Matt Dillon. Four years later, he had another hit with "Beaches," the tearjerker about two friends, played by Bette Middler and Barbara Hershey, who grow up together, grow apart, then finally reunite before tragedy strikes. The film's theme song, "Wind Beneath My Wings," became a hit and went on to win two Grammys.
Marshall's biggest hit by far was 1990's "Pretty Woman," about a wealthy businessman, played by Richard Gere, who hires a Hollywood prostitute to be his escort for a week and ultimately falls for her. The film turned then 21-year-old, relatively unknown Julia Roberts, as the prostitute, into a huge star. She would go on to star in other Marshall films, including "Runaway Bride" and "Valentine's Day." "Pretty Woman" grossed close to $500 million at the box office and remains a cult favorite.
'The Princess Diaries'
Marshall had a knack for finding rising female stars. In 2001, he cast Anne Hathaway in her first film, "The Princess Diaries," which became a box-office success and made Hathaway a star.
Marshall scored another hit at the start of the decade with 2010's "Valentine's Day," an ensemble film starring Roberts, Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Jamie Foxx, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Jennifer Garner and Shirley MacLaine, among others. Though widely panned by critics, the film was nonetheless a box-office success and was the first in an unofficial trilogy that included "New Year's Eve" the following year and "Mother's Day" earlier this year.