Garry Marshall, whose extensive TV and movie career included creating the classic sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Laverne & Shirley" in the '70s and directing the movie that made Julia Roberts a star, "Pretty Woman," has died at 81.
Marshall, the older brother of actress and director Penny Marshall, died of complications from pneumonia following a stroke, Variety reports.
The writer-director-producer had a knack for the popular, making Neil Simon's Broadway hit "The Odd Couple" into a smash on television with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, virtually creating the '50s craze in the '70s via "Happy Days," and helping to launch the careers of such notables as Robin Williams (in the "Happy Days" spin-off "Mork & Mindy") and Anne Hathaway (in "The Princess Diaries").
In recent years, Marshall found success helming a trio of holiday-themed films: "Valentine's Day," "New Year's Eve," and this year's "Mother's Day."
Along with his many behind-the-camera duties, Marshall was a frequent actor, popping up in everything from the James Bond classic "Goldfinger" to his sister's "A League of Their Own" to the TV series "Hot in Cleveland."
Marshall was active until the end of his life, presenting John Stamos with the Timeless Icon honor at this year's TV Land Awards in April and engaging in promotional activities for "Mother's Day" through the spring. According to People magazine, he completed a rewrite on the book of a "Pretty Woman" musical that is headed to Broadway.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, three children, and two sisters, including Penny.
Richard Gere remembered Marshall as "being the pulse and life force of 'Pretty Woman,' a steady helmsman on a ship that could have easily capsized... a super fine and decent man, husband and father who brought real joy and infectious good spirits to everything and everyone he crossed paths with. Everyone loved Garry."
Read how other stars are remembering the entertainment giant on social media:
RIP #GarryMarshall whose humor & humanity inspired. He was a world class boss & mentor whose creativity and leadership meant a ton to me.— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) July 20, 2016
So sad to hear about the passing of the incredible Garry Marshall.. You will be missed.. ❤️🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/jOBXevwMFy— Lea Michele (@msleamichele) July 20, 2016
I lost a friend & mentor. We lost a beautiful man & masterful story teller. Gary Marshall I love you. I hope I get to go where you are.— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) July 20, 2016
GARRY MARSHALL Rest In Peace .. Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty , friendship and generosity .— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) July 20, 2016
Larger than life, funnier than most , wise and the definition of friend https://t.co/k8qxEe4rIZ— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) July 20, 2016
The last time I saw Garry I thanked him for my life. I did not exaggerate. RIP, boss.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) July 20, 2016
Garry Marshall, I am forever indebted to you. Thank you for taking a chance on me. I love you. On the wings on Angels, rest now.— Sarah Paulson (@MsSarahPaulson) July 20, 2016
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
Garry Marshall gave me one of the best experiences I ever had in my career. Thanks pal. RIP— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) July 20, 2016
The world has lost a great man, a comedy icon and a wonderful friend.— bob saget (@bobsaget) July 20, 2016
Rest in peace Garry Marshall.
We lost one of the all time greatest tonight. My dear friend, Garry Marshall, has passed away. My deepest thoughts to Barbara & the family.— Tony Danza (@TonyDanza) July 20, 2016
RIP #GarryMarshall will miss that talented one— octavia spencer (@octaviaspencer) July 20, 2016
Garry Marshall was as sweet as he was generous and he told a great story. He will be missed.— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) July 20, 2016
So sad to hear the news about Garry Marshall. He was a kind and generous man who gave everything to his family and his work. A real loss...— Fred Savage (@thefredsavage) July 20, 2016
I was blessed to have worked with Garry Marshall. Not only was he a wonderful director, but also, he was a gentle, loving, kind man. #RIP— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) 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
RIP Garry Marshall. You forever changed my father's life, and thus, mine. Thank you for capturing so much joy on film, over and over.— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) July 20, 2016
R.I.P. Garry Marshall. A great, great guy and the best casino boss in the history of film. #lostinamerica— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) July 20, 2016