Garry Marshall, the creator of Happy Days and Robin Williams sitcom Mork And Mindy, has died of pneumonia. He was 81.
Marshall went on to direct Hollywood blockbusters including Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride after moving on from TV in the 1980s.
Beginning his career writing for comedians, Marshall got his break on US comic Joey Bishop’s The Joey Bishop Show, before writing for Lucille Ball and Dick Van Dyke’s comedy shows.
Happy Days ran for 10 years from 1974, chronicling the adventures of lothario high school dropout The Fonz and his best friend Richie Cunningham.
The show was a huge ratings success, but it spawned the phrase “jumping the shark” for a series that’s run past its best for a scene in a 1977 episode in which a leather-jacketed Fonz water-skis over a shark.
Marshall went on to create Mork And Mindy, which ran from 1978-82. Robin Williams, then only familiar as a stand-up comedian, played alien Mork from the planet Ork trying to adapt to life on Earth.
After directing his first film Young Doctors In Love in 1982, Marshall had his first movie success with Bette Midler romance Beaches in 1988. He went on to direct Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride and the first two Princess Diaries films. His final film, Jennifer Aniston romcom Mother’s Day, was released in April.
Marshall is survived by his wife Barbara and the couple’s three children.