That’s Garry Marshall as “Rigfort” in 1999’s Never Been Kissed. He was as comfortable in front of the camera as an actor as he was behind it as a writer/director/producer.
Born in the Bronx in 1934, Garry Marshall attended Northwestern University. He started as a writer of jokes for several noted comedians before landing a writing gig on The Tonight Show back in the day when it was hosted by Jack Parr.
Hollywood beckoned in the early 1960s where he was a staff writer for a number of sitcoms. As a producer he was the creator of “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy.” It should be noted that not every series he created was successful. “Me and the Chimp” and “Blansky’s Beauties” were shows created by Marshall that did not do well, but his successes far outweighed his misses.
In the 1980s, Garry Marshall began directing feature films, starting with 1982’s Young Doctors in Love. There was one constant in every film that Marshall directed, the presence of his good friend Hector Elizondo. Elizondo joked that there was a clause in every single Garry Marshall film contract that mandated he be cast in the movie.
In 1984 Garry Marshall scored a hit with The Flamingo Kid. He followed up on that success with films that included Beaches, Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and the two Princess Diaries movies. His last three movies were the holiday-themed Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Mother’s Day.
Garry Marshall was also an actor who had more than 80 movie/TV credits. He had a recurring role on “Murphy Brown” as the network’s president “Stan Lansing.” He also performed in stage productions of several plays.
Married and the father of three children (including director Scott Marshall), Garry Marshall is also survived by his sister, noted director and actress Penny Marshall. Cause of death is listed as pneumonia that hit him after he’d suffered a stroke.