Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall’s brother, was a famous film and television legend in his own right. He died in 2016 at 81 years old.
Marshall had a hand in such classics as Pretty Woman, How Sweet It Is!, Mork & Mindy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and more. He is survived by three children, including director Scott Marshall, and six grandchildren.
Here’s what you need to know about the Marshall siblings:
1. Garry Marshall Died in 2016 at 81 Years Old of Complications With Pneumonia
On July 19, 2016, Marshall died in Burbank, California at 81 years old due to complications with pneumonia after he had suffered a stroke.
According to USA Today, Marshall was born in the Bronx to a tap dance teacher and an industrial film director. To USA Today in an interview a few months before he died, Marshall said, “My mother was special, she gave us our humor. 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.'”
Marshall’s father, Anthony Masciarelli, changed the family name to Marshall, according to Biography.com. In another interview, Marshall once again referenced his father’s lack of humor when he was growing up. Marshall said to The New York Times in 2000, “My mother was funnier than anybody I ever worked for. My father was as funny as this coat. Not a laugh a minute, my father.”
2. Marshall Was Known For His Work on Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, & Happy Days
As a writer, Marshall had over 40 film credits to his name, according to IMDB. These credits included The Lucy Show, Mork & Mindy, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
To People, Julia Roberts said of Marshall, who launched her career into stardom, “To know Garry Marshall was to love him. And I was luckier than most to have loved him for my entire adult life and luckier still to have been loved by him because his love was unconditional, inexhaustible and magical.”
Roberts continued, “The map of Garry’s career is long and illustrious. Innovative and simply amazing. I was 7 years old when Happy Days came on TV. Followed a couple of years later by Laverne & Shirley and then Mork & Mindy. I have said before that Garry Marshall raised me, and it is rather true.”
3. Penny Marshall’s First Film Debut Came When Her Brother Allowed Her to Act in How Sweet It Is!
According to Penny Marshall’s IMDB biography, she got her first break in Hollywood thanks to her brother, when he put her in How Sweet It Is! alongside Debbie Reynolds and James Garner.
In an interview conducted by Marshall’s son, Scott, in the wake of the late producer’s death, Penny said of her brother, “My brother gave me a life… It’s not many people who have a brother who give them a life. He gave me a life and I appreciate it and I tried to not let him down.”
Penny also talked about her brother in an interview with The Archive of American Television (as seen in the video above), “I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for my brother. Let’s be honest, he’s the one who pointed me in this direction, he’s the one who got me parts…they hired me in the beginning so that he would [work on the script].” She added, “He was eccentric. We have the no-drive gene…when he drove, he’d only make right-hand turns…so from his house, he’d go right, right, right [from his house to his place of work.”
4. There’s Been Confusion in the Past About Whether Garry Marshall Was Penny’s Husband, Rather Than His Brother
Following Penny Marshall’s death, one of the top Google searches has been the question of whether Penny and Garry Marshall were married. Of course, that’s not true, since they were brother and sister. But it does make sense that there might be confusion, given their last names and the fact that they were both so immersed in show business.
Marshall often talked highly of his little sister, and shared his experiences encouraging her when she was a young actress trying to make it in Hollywood. Via The Washington Post, Marshall said once to The New York Times, “She’d come home in tears. I said: ‘They’ll learn to like you. They just don’t understand you yet. They will someday.’”
However, Garry and Penny had some ups and downs in their relationship, as well. To New York Times Magazine, Marshall admitted in 2012 that his experience on Laverne & Shirley had been his “worst,” because of his sister’s antics on set. Marshall said, “The ’70s were druggy years on a lot of shows. It was just a mess, but of course I still talk to [Penny]. I don’t think you can tell your family that you can’t come in the house. I’ve always tried to make people happy — the only one I totally didn’t was my sister. That’s one of the reasons I did ‘Beaches.’ Women say things to each other, and the next day they go shopping. Men say things to each other, and they don’t talk for 30 years.”
5. Garry Marshall Was Married to His Wife, Barbara Wells, Since 1963, & Had Three Children
Marshall was only married once, to his wife, Barbara. Together they had three children, one of which is Scott Marshall, who became a director, himself. You can see photos of the couple and their family together here.
According to FilmStew, all of Marshall’s children are involved in theater and film, in one way or another: Lori Marshall is a playwright, and Kathleen Marshall runs a theater in Burbank, which she created with her father.
Marshall said of his son’s early affinity for film, “I’d make him a little wooden airplane and he would take it immediately and burn it, and start to film it, flaming, crashing! Later, we got a pool and he would get his friends to drink tomato juice and then he’d shoot at them and they would dive in the pool and the tomato juice would come out. It ruined the pool.”