Prolific US writer, producer, director and actor Garry Marshall, best known for creating Happy Days and its spin-offs, has died aged 81.
He died in California from complications of pneumonia, following a stroke.
A consummate producer, Marshall wore many hats during his career.
He created Happy Days which ran for 11 seasons from 1974 before penning its spin-offs Laverne and Shirley (featuring sister Penny Marshall), Mork & Mindy and Joanie Loves Chachi. He also created Who’s Watching the Kids?, Angie and Blansky’s Beauties.
Marshall wrote and / or produced some of TV’s biggest hits including The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle USMC, The Odd Couple (which he developed from Neil Simon’s play), The Lucy Show, Love American Style, The Brian Keith Show and had a producer credit on the 2015 version of The Odd Couple.
There were major achievements on the big screen too. He directed hit films including Beaches, Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, Overboard, Raising Helen and the films Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve and Mother’s Day.
Marshall also acted many times including 24 episodes of Murphy Brown plus The Simpsons, Monk, Brothers and Sisters, Two and a Half Men, Louie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Bojack Horseman and Hot in Cleveland.
In 1997, Marshall was inducted into the US Television Hall of Fame for his contributions to the field of television.
He once acknowledged being the one behind the idea, for a 1977 Happy Days episode, putting Fonzie on water skis — an idea so outlandish that it spawned the phrase “jumped the shark.”
He also once said, “In the education of the American people, I am Recess.”