Garry Marshall (1934-2016)

Garry Marshall didn’t win Oscars.  He didn’t win an Emmy, although he was nominated several times.  He was also nominated for Writer’s Guild awards, but didn’t win.  In later years he received honorary awards from the Guild.  But by and large, those accolades we associate with successful writers and producers and directors eluded him.

However, it’s safe to say that his work is among the most enjoyable, fun, and crowd-pleasing that movies and TV have to offer.

Marshall began his career in the early 1960s, writing for shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Lucy Show, and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.  Writing led to producing and directing TV series and made-for-TV movies.  In 1970, he and his writing partner Jerry Belson adapted Neil Simon’s play and movie The Odd Couple for television.  The series was a hit.  Soon Marshall was creating other TV series, most notably Happy Days and its spinoff series Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.

He moved on to the big screen, directing and sometimes writing romantic comedies – and sometimes even acting.  Every now and then, Marshall might touch on drama in his films.  But he concentrated on fun and laughter and, most of all, love.  He especially liked to give us a kind of unexpected love stories.  Two of Marshall’s most successful films – Pretty Woman and Overboard – give us those unexpected romances.  People who are not supposed to fall in love – but do.  But Marshall also liked to explore love between friends (Beaches) and among family members (Mother’s Day).

Garry Marshall was a man who just wanted to show happiness in the world.  His passing leaves us without one of the uplifting voices in Hollywood.

Writing/Directing -- Television

The Dick Van Dyke Show
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Happy Days
I Spy
Laverne & Shirley
The Lucy Show
Mork & Mindy
The Odd Couple

Writing/Directing -- Movies

Dear God
Evil Roy Slade
Georgia Rule
Mother’s Day
New Year’s Eve
Pretty Woman
The Princess Diaries
The Princess Diaries 2 : Royal Engagement
Raising Helen
Runaway Bride


Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Chicken Little
Hocus Pocus
A League of Their Own
Murphy Brown
Never Been Kissed
Race to Witch Mountain


My Happy Days in Hollywood : a memoir


Flickr: CC          : Garry Marshall          Photo by Elvis Kennedy