Marshall, Garry (1934—)

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Marshall, Garry (1934—)

New Yorker Garry Marshall (born Marscharelli) wrote a memoir called Wake Me When It's Funny. The title reveals the creative drive behind a man who, whether as scriptwriter, producer, or director, became a linchpin in the growth of popular TV sitcoms from the mid-1960s. Nonetheless, he is most closely identified with directing Pretty Woman (1990), the hit film that unleashed Julia Roberts on an ecstatic public. Shamelessly commercial, and controversial for sugaring a fundamentally demeaning premise with a fairytale plot, the film presented a synthesis of Marshall's considerable skills at manipulating situation and character and combining sudsy emotion with comedy. A former news reporter, jazz drummer, and stand-up comic, he wrote for several TV shows (Joey Bishop, Dick Van Dyke Show, Here's Lucy) before masterminding (initially with Jerry Belson) over a dozen prime-time series successes, among them The Odd Couple,Happy Days, and Mork and Mindy. An occasional actor (he had a recurring role in Murphy Brown), he began making glossy feature films in 1982.

—Robyn Karney

Further Reading:

Katz, Ephraim. The International Film Encyclopedia. New York, Harper Collins, 1994.

Kirby, Kathryn. "Garry Marshall." In Who's Who in Hollywood, edited by Robyn Karney. New York, Continuum, 1994.