TV, Film Legend Garry Marshall (Happy Days, etc.) Dead at 81

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Writer, director and actor Garry Marshall, whose TV and movie hits included ‘Happy Days,’ ‘Laverne & Shirley,’ ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Runaway Bride,’ has died at age 81.

by Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY 12:40 a.m. EDT July 20, 2016

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(Photo: Matt Mendelsohn, USA TODAY)

Hollywood actor, director, writer and producer Garry Marshall is gone at age 81.

The comedy giant died at 5 p.m. PT Tuesday from complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, Calif., his representative Michelle Bega confirmed to USA TODAY.

A beloved figure in show business, Marshall leaves behind a legacy as a hitmaker on television and in films, a comedian with impeccable delivery, and a warm personality to those he encountered.

He was born in the Bronx to a tap dance teacher and an industrial film director. “My mother was special, she gave us our humor,” Marshall recalled in an interview with USA TODAY in April. “I remember her saying, ‘Never be boring.You gotta entertain people.’ And at 16 years old, I didn’t know what boring meant. I said, ‘What is boring, Ma?’ She said, ‘Your father,’ ” he said, chuckling.

Marshall broke into showbiz in the late 1950s as a joke writer, eventually earning his way to becoming a writer on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. In 1970, Marshall adapted his first TV hit, The Odd Couple, from a play with writing partner Jerry Belson. He went on to create sitcoms Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley (which starred his sister, Penny Marshall) and Mork & Mindy (which introduced the world to Robin Williams).

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