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Garry Marshall's advice to one young filmmaker: 'Do anything you need to do to get the film the way you see it'

Director Garry Marshall
Director Garry Marshall
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81 year-old writer, producer and director Garry Marshall has died. He passed away yesterday at a hospital in Burbank. He died of complications from pneumonia following a stroke. 

Marshall's long list of credits include films like "Pretty Woman" and "The Princess Diaries" and beloved television shows including "Happy Days," "Mork and Mindy" and "Laverne and Shirley."

We talk about his life and legacy with Martin Garbus, a personal friend of Marshall and his daughter Liz Garbus - director of the documentary - What Happened Miss SImone? 

Interview highlights

On how Martin and Garry met 

Martin Garbus: Garry and I were 14 years old, he was putting together a basketball team and I played in a neighboring school yard and he thought I was good enough — I was terrible, we were all terrible — to join this basketball team.

He was the coach, the captain, he did everything, he made arrangements for the ball games, he told you who the shooter was, the rebounder was. Whatever skills he laid out as a director, he had all that while he was director of the basketball team, ages 14, 15, 16.

Why was he so successful in TV/film?

Liz: It’s kind of incredible when you think of the talent that he birthed through the various talent through his television shows and films, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Henry Winkler and Ron Howard ... I think Garry saw his role, maybe like on the basketball team, like hosting a movie, breeding talented people and getting people to have a good time. He had people who worked with him for years, decades. It was important for him that they were happy working there. 

The professional advice he gave Liz 

Liz: One thing Garry said to me when I was putting together my first scripted convo, he said “Find the shot you need. If a producer tells you it’s too expensive, borrow money, do anything you need to do to get the film the way you see it, and don’t let a producer tell you no.”

Martin's lasting memory of him

Martin: He was the kindest, most generous man — it sounds like a platitude — that I ever knew. I saw him through hard times and good times, mostly good times, and he was this warm, gentle, kind person. I saw him under pressure, I never saw him lose his temper, I was on many sets with him, I never saw him treat anyone discourteously, I never saw him being anything other than the extraordinarily decent human being. I do not know you can say that about anyone in Hollywood, let alone life.

Sometimes I’d be going through something, I’d be overseas, different times I’d call him for help, he was always, always there. Always.