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10 Things You Didn't Know About Garry Marshall

Garry Marshall dies at the age of 81.

Garry Marshall, the director, producer, actor and creative genius behind several romantic comedies and comedy dramas such as Pretty Woman and Beaches, has died at the age of 81. Marshall, whose career spanned over 50 years, died after battling complications from pneumonia, which had been preceded by a stroke, in his home in Burbank, California on Tuesday, July 19th, according to reports. Garry Marshall (born Garry Kent Maschiarelli) was born in 1934 in New York City to a mother who ran a school for tap dance and a father who worked as a director and producer of feature films. Marshall's first step into the film industry started in broadcast television, where he began working as a writer in 1961 for TV shows such as The Tonight Show, and The Lucy Show. In the 1970s, he oversaw the success of several popular shows including Happy Days, which ran for eleven seasons on ABC, The Odd Couple, and Laverne and Shirley, which featured his sister as one of the two leads. Marshall transitioned into feature films in the 1980s, making his directorial debut with the 1982 comedy Young Doctors in Love, which was a parody on medical dramas like General Hospital. He would later earn an Oscar nomination forBest Art Direction, and nabbed a Grammy for the shlock number “Wind Beneath My Wings.” In memory of Gary Marshall here are 10 things you did not know about the great filmmaker.
  1. Marshall is known for his obsession with basketball: his contract has often obligated studios to provide a basketball court on his film locations.
  2. Known for the photo albums he makes on each of his movies, taking separate pictures of himself with every member of the huge cast and crew.
  3. Attended Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), where he has a building specializing in radio/television/film production named for him and his wife. Wrote for the Daily Northwestern sports beat while in college, advocating that NU drop out of the Big Ten athletic conference.
  4. Graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in New York
  5. Career started as a comedy writer.
  6. Is afraid of heights.
  7. Was original choice to direct Sleepless in Seattle (1993).
  8. His mother, Marjorie Marshall, appeared in the Happy Days (1974) episode, Happy Days: Beauty Contest (1976), as "Mrs. Weiss", the piano player.
  9. Played the husband of his real-life sister Penny Marshall in Hocus Pocus (1993).
  10. Owns and operates the Falcon Theater in Burbank, California along with his daughter, Kathleen Marshall.
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