Revisiting Gary Marshall

Garry Marshall, who passed away a year ago yesterday at the age of 81, was a prolific director, producer, writer, and actor in both television and movies. Here’s how to sample all his talents:

Director

For the big screen, Marshall directed such titles as The Princess Diaries (2001), available to HBO Now subscribers; Beaches (1988), available to Showtime subscribers; and Pretty Woman (1990), which anyone can rent for $1.99 SD/$2.99 HD from FandangoNow.

Producer

Yahoo View offers free episodes of four of Marshall’s biggest TV hits: Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and the original version of The Odd Couple.

Three of the shows are also available over-the-air: Happy Days at 6 pm ET weekdays and The Odd Couple at 11:30 pm Sundays on MeTV; and Mork & Mindy, weekdays at 7 am and Sundays at 2 pm, on Antenna TV.

Here, Gary Marshall joins the Happy Days cast for a 1992 reunion special:

Actor

As a showrunner before the term was ever coined, Marshall knew how to deal with TV network executives. That experience certainly lent a degree of authenticity to probably his most visible acting role: playing network president Stan Lansing in 24 episodes of Murphy Brown, the hugely popular series that ran a full decade (1988-1998) on CBS. Antenna TV plans to start showing the series later this year but, until then, your only viewing option seems to be season one on DVD (even that’s out of print, but you can buy a used copy on Amazon). For an explanation of this situation, check out Gizmodo’s “Why the Hell Can’t I Watch Murphy Brown Online?

Clip: Garry Marshall as a hospitalized Stan Lansing in ‘Murphy Brown’:

Writer

Marshall started his TV career in the early 1960s, co-writing many popular shows with Jerry Belson. The following 1964 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award:

(Note: This article, an updated version of one published a year ago today, is part of our summer Throwback Thursday series.)

 

 

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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