The career of producer/director Garry Marshall has been marked by many peaks, the highest of which include such classic television sitcoms as The Odd Couple (1970-1975), Happy Days (1974-1984), and Mork and Mindy (1978-1982), and the phenomenally popular feature film Pretty Woman (1990). A Brooklyn native, Marshall (born Gary Marsciarelli) is the son of an industrial filmmaker and a dance instructor. His sister, Penny Marshall, is a comic actress and noted film director. Marshall majored in journalism at Northwestern University and subsequently served a stint in the army before becoming a reporter for the New York Daily News. He was also a jazz drummer in a band before becoming a television comedy scriptwriter for such artists as Joey Bishop and Phil Foster and the writer for Jack Parr on The Tonight Show.
Marshall moved to Los Angeles in 1961, but he didn't make it big until he teamed up with writer Jerry Belson. Together, they penned numerous episodes for several sitcoms, notably The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show. In 1970, Marshall produced The Odd Couple, which starred Jack Klugman and Tony Randall and was based on a popular Neil Simon play and movie. He reached his apex as a television producer during the '70s, with such hits as Laverne and Shirley (1976-1983) (a Happy Days spin-off starring sister Penny) and Mork and Mindy. In addition to his producing and television directorial efforts, Marshall occasionally appeared as a supporting actor.