Gary Marshall: Happy Days Creator, Pretty Woman Director Passes Away at 81

Garry Marshall, whose credits ranged from TV’s Happy Days and The Odd Couple to such films as Pretty Woman and this year’s Mother’s Day, died Tuesday. He was 81.

According to his spokeswoman, the older brother of actress/director Penny Marshall died from complications of pneumonia Tuesday afternoon at a Burbank hospital after suffering a stroke.

During his career, Marshall worked with some of the biggest stars on TV and movie screens, includingLucille Ball, Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway, and many offered their condolences.

Richard Gere, who starred with Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, said in a statement, “Garry, of course, was one of those truly important people one is blessed to meet in one’s lifetime. Besides being the pulse and life force of Pretty Woman…he was a super-fine and decent man, husband and father who brought real joy and love and infections good spirits to everything and everyone he paths with.”

Anson Williams of Happy Days posted a tribute: “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.”

Marshall’s more recent credits include 2001’s The Princess Diaries, 2010’s Valentine’s Day and 2011’s New Year’s Eve, but he is best known for Pretty Woman and such ’70s sitcoms as The Odd Couple, Happy Daysand its spin-offs, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. The former co-starred his sister Penny, while the latter launched the career of Robin Williams into orbit. (The Hollywood Reporter) (Premiere Prep)