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'Pretty Woman' director Garry Marshall dies at 81

 IANS |  2016-07-20 14:16:48.0  |  Los Angeles

Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall dies at 81

According to his representative, Marshall died from complications of pneumonia following a stroke at a hospital in Burbank, California, yesterday, reported E! Online.

His sister, actress and director Penny Marshall, also confirmed the news.

Born in Bronx, Marshall graduated from Northwestern U's Medill School of Journalism and began his career as a joke writer for comedians including Joey Bishop, then worked on the writing staff of "The Tonight Show With Jack Paar." 

He made his directorial debut in 1967 with TV show "Hey, Landlord" and went on to create some of the 1970s' most iconic sitcoms including "Happy Days," and "The Odd Couple".

The first feature Marshall directed was the 1982 comedy "Young Doctors in Love," but his first big screen blockbuster was 1990's "Pretty Woman," starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

The movie, revolving around a young prostitute and a bored millionaire, has become an enduring romantic classic.

The trio reunited in 1999 for box office hit "Runaway Bride". The movie saw Roberts playing a woman who keeps dumping her prospective grooms at the altar and Gere a journalist in search of his next big story.

Marshall is credited for launching Anne Hathaway's career with "The Princess Diaries" and its sequel.

The films saw global grosses of USD 165 million and USD 135 million, respectively. Marshall had recently talked about his plans to bring the third movie in the franchise.

His other major romantic movies are "New Year's Eve" and his last release this year "Mother's Day".

Marshall also had a long acting career that began in the early 1960s. He played a hoodlum in the James Bond film "Goldfinger" and made appearances, most uncredited, in many of his film and TV projects.

Celebrities took to Twitter to pay their respects, including "Happy Days" alum Henry Winkler, who tweeted, "Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and generosity." 

"Garry Marshall gave me one of the best experiences I ever had in my career. Thanks pal. RIP," tweeted Jason Alexander.

Actor Albert Brooks wrote, "RIP Garry Marshall. A great, great guy and the best casino boss in the history of film.

#lostinamerica".

"RIP Garry Marshall. You forever changed my father's life, and thus, mine. Thank you for capturing so much joy on film, over and over," Robin Williams' daughter Zelda tweeted.

Marshall is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara, and three children, including Scott, a film director.

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