10 contributions to TV and film from Garry Marshall

What an impressive career Garry Marshall had!

The man who was responsible for so many classic sitcoms and movies died at the age of 81 on July 19, due to complications from pneumonia, seamlessly went from writing to acting to producing and directing.  He valued teamwork and loyalty and went out of his way to inspire his teams and their fans to enjoy time both in front of and behind the camera.  During the heyday of Happy Days, he encouraged the creation of an intramural softball team to be played by cast and crew in front of audiences of family, friends and fans.

As a writer, he contributed to the Tonight Show with Jack Parr, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Joey Bishop Show and The Lucy Show before moving on and up as the creative and producing force behind several hit shows—especially his adaptation of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple to television and still running in syndication 1970s and 1980s favorites: the before mentioned Happy Days as well as Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.

His motion picture directing career began with The Flamingo Kid in 1984.  And the hits, and the not-so-much-hits kept coming over the years.  He directed Pretty Woman, Beaches, Runaway Bride, Exit to Eden, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and the The Princess Diaries.

All the while, he still tried new things and continued to act until the end.

Hollywood came out in droves to remember their esteemed colleague, friend and often mentor and his legacy even contains the industry term “jump the shark,” which means the point when a good show turns bad as it came from when Happy Days’ leading man, “The Fonz” actually tried to jump a shark.

Here are 10 invaluable contributions Garry Marshall made to television and film.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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