Happy Days creator Garry Marshall dies at 81

Happy Days creator Garry Marshall has died at 81Happy Days creator Garry Marshall has died at 81
Happy Days creator Garry Marshall has died at 81
HAPPY DAYS star Henry Winkler has paid tribute to the show's creator, Garry Marshall, who has died aged 81.

Marshall, who also created Mork & Mindy starring Robin Williams and directed hit films including Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, Beaches and Valentine’s Day, died of complications from pneumonia after a stroke.

Winkler shot to fame playing Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in the family comedy and has said he owes Marshall his career.

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He wrote on Twitter: “Garry Marshall Rest In Peace ... Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty , friendship and generosity.”

He added: “Larger than life, funnier than most, wise and the definition of friend.”

Marshall died in hospital in Burbank, California, on July 19, his publicist, Michelle Bega, said.

Director Ron Howard, who also starred in Happy Days as Richie Cunningham, said he missed Marshall already, writing: “RIP #GarryMarshall whose humour & humanity inspired. He was a world class boss & mentor whose creativity and leadership meant a ton to me.

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“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.”

Goldie Hawn, who starred opposite her partner Kurt Russell in Marshall’s film Overboard, wrote: “Our beloved Gary Marshall has passed! He was so special to our family and we will miss his gift of true joy and love! Thank you Gary for Overboard and all the films you made that had humanity, humour and goodness that lifted our spirits. God has you now. Rest dear one. We love you.”

Ashton Kutcher, who starred in Marshall’s films Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, also paid tribute, saying: “I lost a friend & mentor. We lost a beautiful man & masterful story teller. Gary Marshall I love you. I hope I get to go where you are.”

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Topher Grace, who also starred in Valentine’s Day, wrote: “Oh man, this is a tough one. Honoured I spent time with this kind man. My love to his wife and family. #garrymarshall.”

Marshall, who was a former journalist, first found success in 1970 when he and his writing partner turned the Broadway show The Odd Couple into a TV series.

His first big screen success came with Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in 1990. The film was such a hit the pair reunited for Runaway Bride in 1999.

He also made appearances on screen in colourful supporting roles such as a casino boss in Albert Brooks’ film Lost In America.

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After news of Marshall’s death broke, Brooks wrote: “R.I.P. Garry Marshall. A great, great guy and the best casino boss in the history of film. #lostinamerica.”

The funeral service will be private, but a memorial is being planned for his birthday on November 13.

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