Legendary filmmaker Garry Marshall has died. He was 81 years old.
A titan in both television and film, Marshall is the force behind two of America’s most beloved sitcoms, Happy Days and The Odd Couple, in addition to directing lauded films such as Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, and The Princess Diaries.
Marshall got his start as a writer on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show. With longtime partner Jerry Belson, Marshall adapted Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple for television in 1970. The show’s cast included Marshall’s sister, Penny, who became a film legend in her own right.
In 1974, he cast a young actor named Ron Howard to star in his second sitcom, Happy Days. The show, which also starred Henry Winkler, Tom Bosley, and Marion Ross, ran for 11 seasons and is still shown in syndication today.
In 1976, Marshall once again looked to his sister, Penny, when it came time to casting his third notable sitcom, Laverne and Shirley.
In the 1980s, Marshall began directing feature length films. His first hit came with 1984’s The Flamingo Kid. Other notable credits included 1990’s Pretty Woman, 1999’s Runaway Bride, 2001’s The Princess Diaries, and 2004’s The Princess Diaries 2. His final three projects were the ensemble films Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Mother’s Day, which was released this past April.