Garry Marshall was a writer, director, producer and actor who left an indelible mark on American comedy as a creator or key contributor to a long list of popular television series and feature films.
Marshall, who grew up in the Bronx, got his start in show business as a drummer, and he worked in Chicago clubs while studying journalism at Northwestern University. After Army service during the Korean War he worked briefly for the New York Daily News while branching out as a nightclub comic and joke writer for Joey Bishop and other performers.
He broke into television as a writer for The Jack Paar Show, followed by Make Room for Daddy, starring Danny Thomas. In the five decades that followed, he helped to influence pop culture and the trajectory of comedy with such shows as The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Lucy Show, The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Mork & Mindy and Laverne & Shirley.
In the 1980s he began directing feature films, beginning with Young Doctors in Love in 1982. His other movie credits included such hits as The Flamingo Kid, Beaches, Overboard, Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, The Princess Diaries and Valentine's Day.
In addition to his work behind the camera, Marshall appeared in dozens of TV series and movies as an actor, often in supporting roles or cameos that played on his loose, unpretentious nature and distinctive Bronx accent.
His television credits as a performer included roles on his own shows (The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley) and numerous others, such as Murphy Brown, Vega$, Monk, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Father of the Pride, Brothers & Sisters, ER, Two and a Half Men, Louie, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Hot in Cleveland.
He also was seen in such films as Grand Theft Auto (directed by Happy Days star Ron Howard), Lost in America, Jumpin' Jack Flash (directed by his sister — and former Laverne and Shirley star — Penny Marshall), Soapdish, A League of Their Own (also directed by his sister), Race to Witch Mountain and several of his own projects, including Beaches, Pretty Woman, Exit to Eden and Valentine's Day.
The prolific hyphenate received four Emmy Award nominations as a producer of The Odd Couple, and one for Mork & Mindy.
His numerous other professional accolades included a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as honors from the Writers Guild of America, including the organization's prestigious Valentine Davies Award and Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement. He was also honored with Women in Film's Lucy Award, the Producers Guild of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in Television, and awards from the Publicists Guild and TV Land, among others.
Garry Marshall was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1997.