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My Happy Days in Hollywood by Garry Marshall

From Happy Days and The Odd Couple to blockbusters Pretty Woman and Valentine’s Day—a Hollywood icon reflects on his five decades in television and film.

My Happy Days in Hollywood by Garry Marshall
  • On sale: January 1, 1970
  • Price: $
  • ISBN: 9780307885005
Contact: Campbell Wharton

“Marshall draws the reader in with a disarming manner and a casual, easy-to-read writing style, detailing early self-doubts as well as later triumphs. The result is an engaging and entertaining blend of honesty and humor, punctuated throughout with showbusiness insights and anecdotes.” —Publishers Weekly

Happy days are here again.” Kirkus Reviews

“Readers are bound to be as charmed by Marshall himself as they are by the behind-the-scenes anecdotes he shares about his hit television shows and movies.” Booklist


Garry Marshall is one of the most respected and successful writers, directors, and producers in show business. He has also helped launch the careers of many film and television stars. His highly anticipated new autobiography, MY HAPPY DAYS IN HOLLYWOOD: A Memoir (Crown Archetype, on sale April 24), co-written with his daughter Lori, is an entertaining, witty, and thoroughly enjoyable journey through Garry’s extraordinarily prolific career.

Garry talks about his upbringing with his sisters Penny and Ronny and recalls his childhood days as a wisecracking, stickball-playing kid from the Bronx. He tells his fascinating journey from the Grand Concourse to Hollywood, and how, in1961, he got his start penning scripts for sitcoms starring Dick Van Dyke, Lucille Ball, and Danny Thomas. From there, Garry engages and delights the reader with tales of how he navigated his way to producing some of the most iconic sitcoms of the 1970s, including Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, and The Odd Couple—all critical and popular successes.

And that was just the first half of Garry Marshall’s career.

Writing as a film director, Garry takes us through the memorable box office hits, including the classic Pretty Woman, and others: Beaches, The Princess Diaries, Overboard, Runaway Bride, and Valentine’s Day, revealing along the way hilarious anecdotes and the joys and challenges he faced on and off theset, along with his secrets to longevity and success. Some of these stories include:

  • How Garry directed Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Runaway Bride on a day when both stars wanted to leave.
  • Revelations from the set of Pretty Woman, including the real reason why Julia and Richard laughed so much during the romance scenes.
  • When Lindsay Lohan took Garry out clubbing in LA while they were shooting Georgia Rule. (In this chapter, Garry also talks about how he coached Lindsay to make peace with the crew; and how he had to whisper the word “action” because he didn’t want locals who lived around the set to know they were filming.)
  • His secret weapon when it came to casting Anne Hathaway for Princess Diaries.
  • How the term “jump the shark” became iconic after a late episode of Happy Days.
  • Making contact with departed spirits with Shirley MacLaine in a graveyard during the shoot of Valentine’s Day.
  • The time Garry almost killed Lucille Ball.
  • Going undercover into the S&M world to do research for a movie.
  • The daily drama the crew experienced on the set of Laverne & Shirley, and how her dad kept a $75,000 paycheck from Penny.
  • How Oscar and Felix almost broke up the first day of work on The Odd Couple.
  • Why Jennifer Garner doesn’t appear nude in Valentine’s Day.

In addition, there are some touching personal stories about the many stars Garry has helped launch over the years, including memories working with Henry Winkler and Ron Howard on Happy Days, a young Julia Roberts, a street performer named Robin Williams, and even his sister Penny.

MY HAPPY DAYS IN HOLLYWOOD takes us behind the scenes and into the dressing rooms and movie trailers of all the stars he has worked with. Garry went out of his way to make each of his sets a happy place, and his memoir is no exception.




Garry Marshall is a groundbreaking creative force in Hollywood for more than fifty years. He has excelled as a writer, producer, director, and actor in his career, earning him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and acclaim from critics and fans alike. One could say he was born to work in Hollywood—his mother was a tap dancer and his father was a producer and director of industrial films. Marshall began his career writing jokes for comedians, soon ascending to write for hit programs like The Tonight Show, The Lucy Show, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. When Marshall ventured into producing with fellow writer Jerry Belson, they struck gold with The Odd Couple in 1970. Marshall’s career skyrocketed with his creation of some of the best-loved television series of all time: Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, and Laverne & Shirley.

As a film director later in his career, Marshall has given life to star-studded classics like Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, Beaches, The Other Sister, and The Princess Diaries. Throughout his career, he has been praised for his commitment to the advancement of women in Hollywood. In 1996, Marshall was given the Women in Film Lucy Award for his representation of women and his showcase of strong, complex female characters. New Year’s Eve, Marshall’s latest feature film, stars Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, and Sarah Jessica Parker, among numerous others. He has occasionally stepped in front of the camera, acting in both films and television.

Over the course of his career, Marshall has been the recipient of such prestigious awards as the American Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award and the Publicists Guild Motion Picture Showmanship Award for Film and Television. In 1995, he was voted the Valentine Davies Award winner by the Writers Guild of America. In November 1997, Marshall was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. He was honored in 2002 by Washington, D.C.’s National Italian American Foundation.

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