Garry Marshall

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Garry Marshall
Marshall in San Antonio, TX, January 2008
Born Garry Kent Marshall
(1934-11-13) November 13, 1934 (age 87)[1]
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Northwestern University
Occupation Actor, director, writer, producer
Years active 1959–present
Spouse(s) Barbara Marshall
Children 3 (including Scott Marshall)
Relatives Penny Marshall (sister)

Garry Kent Marshall (born November 13, 1934) is an American actor, director, writer, and producer. His notable credits include creating Happy Days and its various spinoffs, developing Neil Simon's 1965 play The Odd Couple for television, and directing Nothing In Common, Dear God, Pretty Woman, Frankie and Johnny, Runaway Bride, Georgia Rule, Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve, Beaches, The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

Early life

Marshall was born in the New York City borough of The Bronx, the son of Marjorie Irene (née Ward; 1908-1983), a tap dance teacher who ran a tap dance school, and Anthony Wallace Marshall (1906–99), a director of industrial films and later a producer.[2] He is the brother of actress/director Penny Marshall and Ronny Marshall Hallin, a TV producer. His father was of Italian descent, his family having come from San Martino sulla Marrucina, Chieti, Abruzzo,[3] and his mother was of Welsh and Irish ancestry;[4][5] His father changed his last name from "Masciarelli" to "Marshall" before Garry was born.[6] Marshall was baptized Presbyterian and also raised Lutheran for a time.[7] He attended De Witt Clinton High School, where he was a classmate of Spider-Man artist Steve Ditko, and Northwestern University, where he wrote a sports column for The Daily Northwestern, and is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.


Marshall began his career as a joke writer for such comedians as Joey Bishop and Phil Foster, and then became a writer for The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. In 1961 he moved to Hollywood, where he teamed up with Jerry Belson as a writer for television. The pair worked on The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Joey Bishop Show, The Danny Thomas Show, and The Lucy Show. Their first television series as creator/producers was Hey, Landlord, which lasted one season (1966–67). They then adapted Neil Simon's play The Odd Couple for television. On his own, Marshall created Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, starring his sister Penny, and Mork & Mindy, which were produced by his associates Thomas L. Miller, Robert L. Boyett, and Edward K. Milkis. He was also a co-creator of the short-lived sitcom Makin' It,[8] which the three men also produced.

In the early 1980s, Marshall met Hector Elizondo while playing basketball and became great friends. Elizondo appears in every movie that Marshall directed, beginning with Marshall's first feature film, Young Doctors in Love. Elizondo once noted that he is written into all of Marshall's contracts whether he wanted to do the movie or not.[9] In the opening credits of Exit to Eden, their eighth movie together, Elizondo is credited "As Usual ... Hector Elizondo".[10]

In 1984 Marshall had a movie hit as the writer and director of The Flamingo Kid.

A consummate producer, Marshall wore many hats during this period of his career: most of his hit TV shows were created and executive produced by him. His first producing assignment came with Hey, Landlord in 1966. He stepped up the very next year, producing The Lucy Show. Then came successes in producing The Odd Couple, Laverne and Shirley, Blansky's Beauties, Mork & Mindy, Angie, and Happy Days.

Marshall also launched independent productions, via his theatre (The Falcon in Toluca Lake) and in association with productions launched with talent he was grooming and working with for years. One such project, titled Four Stars, was directed by actress Lynda Goodfriend (who portrayed Lori Beth in Happy Days), and was based on a play Goodfriend had read when she was studying at the Lee Strasberg Center, which had been written by John Schulte and Kevin Mahoney. It starred Julie Paris (the daughter of Happy Days director and Dick Van Dyke Show co-star Jerry Paris) and film veteran Bert Kramer. Marshall went on to focus on directing feature films, with a series of hits, such as Beaches, Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, and most recently Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve.

Marshall is also an actor, making his TV acting debut starting as a child with a recurring role in the long-running CBS series The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950–58), appearing on the television series Murphy Brown and in such movies as Soapdish, on FOX's filmmaking-competition reality TV series On the Lot, which aired in 2007, and provided a guest-starring voice for The Simpsons episodes Eight Misbehavin' and Homer the Father. He also appeared in two episodes of Happy Days as a drummer.

Marshall's theater credits include Wrong Turn at Lungfish, which he wrote in collaboration with Lowell Ganz, The Roast with Jerry Belson, Shelves and Happy Days: A New Musical with Paul Williams, which had its premiere at The Falcon Theater in Burbank, California in the summer of 2006.

In 1996 he was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of excellence and innovation in creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television.[11]

In 1997, Marshall was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame for his contributions to the field of television.

Marshall also has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. He played the role of "director" on Burbank's "!" float in the 2014 Rose Parade. His son, Scott Marshall, is also a director. In 2014, he appeared in a guest star role in a February episode in season 11 of Two and a Half Men on CBS.

In 2014, Marshall received the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement from the Writers Guild of America.

Directing credits

Year Film Notes
1982 Young Doctors in Love
1984 Flamingo Kid, TheThe Flamingo Kid
1986 Nothing In Common
1987 Overboard
1988 Beaches
1990 Pretty Woman
1991 Frankie and Johnny
1994 Exit to Eden
1996 Dear God
1999 Other Sister, TheThe Other Sister
1999 Runaway Bride
2001 Princess Diaries, TheThe Princess Diaries
2004 Raising Helen
2004 Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, TheThe Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
2007 Georgia Rule
2010 Valentine's Day
2011 New Year's Eve
2016 Mother's Day

Television credits as writer or producer

Years Program Notes
1959–61 Tonight Starring Jack Paar
1961–64 Danny Thomas Show, TheThe Danny Thomas Show (aka Make Room for Daddy)
1961–65 Joey Bishop Show, TheThe Joey Bishop Show
1961–66 Dick Van Dyke Show, TheThe Dick Van Dyke Show
1962–68 Lucy Show, TheThe Lucy Show
1964 Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theater
1964 Gomer Pyle, USMC
1965–66 Hank
1966 Hey, Landlord creator, writer, director
1967 Sheriff Who?
1970–75 Odd Couple, TheThe Odd Couple
1972 Me and the Chimp
1972 Evil Roy Slade
1974–84 Happy Days creator, executive producer
1974 Brian Keith Show, TheThe Brian Keith Show
1974 Dominick's Dream
1974 Love, American Style
1975 Wives
1976–83 Laverne and Shirley
1977 Blansky's Beauties creator, executive producer
1978–82 Mork & Mindy creator, executive producer
1978 Who's Watching the Kids creator, executive producer
1979–80 Angie creator, executive producer
1979 Beanes of Boston
1979 Out of the Blue
1979 Makin' It
1981 Mean Jeans
1982–83 New Odd Couple, TheThe New Odd Couple executive producer
1982–83 Joanie Loves Chachi creator, executive producer
1986 Four Stars
1986 Nothing in Common

Acting credits

Year Film Notes
1950–58 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1964 Goldfinger uncredited
1977 Blansky's Beauties
1985 Lost In America
1991 Soapdish
1992 A League of Their Own
1993 Hocus Pocus cameo
1994 Murphy Brown
1997 Pinky & The Brain voice
1999 Never Been Kissed
1999 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons voice (episode "Eight Misbehavin'")
2001 Tomcats uncredited
2001 The Majestic voice
2002 Orange County
2002 Monk "Mr. Monk and the Airplane"
2002 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
2004 Father of the Pride voice
2005 Chicken Little voice
2005–08 Angelica and Susie's Pre-School Daze voice
2006 Keeping Up with the Steins
2006 Brothers and Sisters
2008 Hole in the Paper Sky
2008 The Sarah Silverman Program as Schaarcorp President, Episode: High, It's Sarah
2009 Race to Witch Mountain
2009 According to Jim Episode: Physical Therapy
2011 Looney Tunes Show, TheThe Looney Tunes Show voice
2012 Louie CBS chairman
2014 Two and a Half Men as himself
2014 Liv and Maddie Episode: Space-Werewolf-A-Rooney
2014 Life After Beth as grandpa
2015 Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero voice, 2 episodes
2015 Brooklyn 99 as Marvin Miller, Episode: The Wednesday Incident
2015 Hot in Cleveland Episode: All Dolled Up
2015 BoJack Horseman voice, as Abe, Episode: Yes And

In popular culture

Comedian Paul F. Tompkins plays a parody of Garry Marshall on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast and TV show.


  1. "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1181). November 18, 2011. p. 34.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Comedy On Tap- Garry Marshall Interview
  3. LaSalle, Mick (June 24, 2011). "This Jewish boy's life will make you laugh (and get a bit verklempt?)". The San Francisco Chronicle.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. An Interview with the Cast of Keeping up with the Steins
  5. Ancestry of Penny Marshall
  6. Shlemiel! Shlemozzle! And Cue the Soprano.
  7. Thunderstruck
  8. BBC – Comedy – Shows A-Z Index
  9. Kung, Michelle (August 20, 2004). "LOYAL SUBJECT". Entertainment Weekly.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. [1]
  11. "Past Recipients". Retrieved October 11, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Marshall, Garry (1995). Wake Me When It's Funny: How to Break into Show Business and Stay There. Newmarket Press. ISBN 1-55704-288-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links