Obituary: Famed television producer and series creator (and later had some big screen hits) Garry Marshall, 81, has died. He died this afternoon after suffering from pneumonia following a stroke.
He is best remembered for his 1970s sitcom creations The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley (which starred his sister Penny Marshall), and Mork and Mindy.
Marshall had the golden touch for the most part, but not always. He was also responsible for one of the worst television series of all time, 1972's Me and the Chimp, starring Ted Bessell and Anita Gillette. It was so bad it lasted just 13 weeks following the horrible reviews.
Another turkey was The Ugliest Girl in Town. However, he wasn't responsible for creating it; instead, he starred in it but fortunately not in the title role. He was billed as "Gary Marshal" in the series. The late Peter Kastner was the one who got stuck with the "Caitlyn" Jenner impersonation.
He was born in the Bronx to a tap dance teacher and an industrial film director. "My mother was special, she gave us our humor," Marshall recalled in an interview with USA TODAY in April. "I remember her saying, 'Never be boring.You gotta entertain people.' And at 16 years old, I didn't know what boring meant. I said, 'What is boring, Ma?' She said, 'Your father,' " he said, chuckling.
Marshall broke into showbiz in the late 1950s as a joke writer, eventually earning his way to becoming a writer on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. In 1970, Marshall adapted his first TV hit, The Odd Couple, from a play with writing partner Jerry Belson. He went on to create sitcoms Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley (which starred his sister, Penny Marshall) and Mork & Mindy (which introduced the world to Robin Williams).
In the '80s, Marshall turned his talents to feature films, finding his first hit with The Flamingo Kid (1984), followed by Overboard (1987) and Beaches (1989).
The hits kept coming, from 1990's Pretty Woman (which propelled Julia Roberts to stardom), 1999's Runaway Bride and 2001's The Princess Diaries (which made Anne Hathaway a household name).