Garry Marshall has died at the age of 81.
The actor and director is best known for his romantic comedy hits with Julia Roberts such as Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and the more recent Mother's Day. He also was the creator of the popular sitcom Happy Days that aired during the 1970s and 80s.
Marshall was also behind the small screen classics The Odd Couple, Laverne And Shirley, and Mork And Mindy.
He made Julia Roberts famous when he cast her in the 1990 smash hit Pretty Woman with Richard Gere. The romantic comedy grossed $463 million worldwide and landed Julia a Best Actress Oscar nomination for playing a hooker with a heart of gold.
Garry went on to direct her in 1999's Runaway Bride, which also starred Gere, as well as this year's Mother's Day, which had Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson in it too.
But the quick-with-a-joke Garry first attended Northwestern University where he majored in journalism. He then started working as a reporter for the New York Daily News before switching careers. Marshall worked as a joke writer for several comedians including Joey Bishop, and then landed a spot working on the writing staff of The Tonight Show With Jack Paar.
'RIP Garry Marshall, whose humor & humanity inspired. He was a world class boss & mentor whose creativity and leadership meant a ton to me.' 'Garry's mantra, to those who succeeded in entertainment was simple... "Life is more important that show business."' 'I miss Garry already. He leaves a huge void for all who were lucky to be in his orbit. A great friend.' — Ron Howard, in multiple Twitter posts.
'Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and generosity. Larger than life, funnier than most, wise and the definition of friend.' — Henry Winkler, on Twitter.
'Besides being the pulse and life force of Pretty Woman, a steady helmsman on a ship that could have easily capsized, he was a super fine and decent man, husband and father who brought real joy and love and infectious good spirits to everything and everyone he crossed paths with. Everyone loved Garry. He was a mentor and a cheerleader and one of the funniest men who ever lived. He had a heart of the purest gold and a soul full of mischief. He was Garry.' — Richard Gere.
'Mourning the passing of the legend, Garry Marshall. Hired me at 15 for the ill-fated (probably my fault) sitcom Mean Jeans. Also gave my wife her start at 18 as a make up artist. He was gentleman and a genius. — Rob Lowe, on Instagram.
'Our beloved Garry Marshall has passed today. Our family will miss him so much. His humor, his humanity, and his love. Thank you for Overboard. Thank you for being such a special human. Rest in peace, dear one. — Goldie Hawn, on Instagram.
'I had the honor to work w the legendary #GarryMarshall -thank you for your comedic genius and I'm so grateful for all the films and tv shows that helped shaped my generation and generations to come. #rip a true pioneer in entertainment. — Jessica Alba, on Instagram.
'Garry Marshall gave me the opportunity of many lifetimes and, more importantly, genuine love and friendship; a love that transcended far beyond show business. Garry's selfless nurturing of talent will be (passed) on to future generations along with all that he has created.' — Anson Williams.
'Garry was a uniquely creative force. It was a great pleasure and treat to see him work, and work with him. And on top of this, he was a warm and generous man, who always fostered a feeling of family with our cast. We lost a giant today.' — Don Most.
'What a devotion to the art of comedy. Happy Days have come and gone.' — Richard Lewis, on Twitter.
'Garry Marshall gave me one of the best experiences I ever had in my career. Thanks pal.' — Pretty Woman co-star Jason Alexander, on Twitter.
'I lost a friend & mentor. We lost a beautiful man & masterful story teller.' — Ashton Kutcher, on Twitter.
'I hope Garry Marshall does a Squiggy entrance when he enters the afterlife.' — Patton Oswalt.
'Garry Marshall was as sweet as he was generous and he told a great story. He will be missed.' — Seth Meyers, on Twitter.
'What a profound honor it was to know you. My life and the lives of anyone who has (ever) been blessed to meet you, know you, work with you or watch something you lovingly created will never be the same." — Yvette Nicole Brown, on Twitter.
'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, on Twitter.
'The world has lost a great man, a comedy icon and a wonderful friend.' — Bob Saget, on Twitter.
'Worked with Garry Marshall on the new Odd Couple. I was so excited to meet him. He was gracious, kind & very funny.' — Dave Foley, on Twitter.
'So sad to hear about the passing of the incredible Garry Marshall. You will be missed.' — Lea Michele on Twitter.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1961, where he started to appear as an actor in several TV shows and films.
In the James Bond film Goldfinger, Marshall played a hoodlum, while he also had a recurring role on Murphy Brown as head of the network.
Shortly after moving to Hollywood, Marshall, whose mother was a tap dance teacher and father an industrial film director, also started to write for shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, before moving on to work as a producer.
In 1970 he put together The Odd Couple, starring opposites Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. The show was a massive success and lasted five seasons. Next was Happy Days in 1974, which had Ron Howard as the clean-cut everyday American kid in 1950s America with Henry Winkler as the studly The Fonz. The comedy giant then started Laverne And Shirley, about two women who work at a factory and live together as roommates in an apartment. His sister, actress Penny Marshall, starred as Laverne DeFazio in the popular TV series that ran from 1976 to 1983.
Read more at The Daily Mail