July 20, 2016

With the passing of Hollywood’s legendary writer, director, actor and producer, Garry Marshall, the New York Film Academy remembers the kindhearted and thoughtful man who once took the time out to meet with, and inspire, our students.


Back in June 2012, Marshall sat in on the New York Film Academy Los Angeles AFA Acting for Film class with Acting Chair, Lynda Goodfriend, who he recalled as the “spirited young chorus girl on Broadway.” Marshall would, of course, later cast her as Lori Beth on his iconic TV series, Happy Days.

While in Goodfriend’s class, Marshall graciously watched graduating students’ short films, providing them with valuable feedback on their performances.

“Garry Marshall changed the culture of America,” said Goodfriend. “He was the funniest and the kindest man in the entertainment industry. He is the only person I know who could make you laugh and cry within the same five seconds. The most important thing Garry taught me, was that it always has to be about heart. Because that’s who Garry was. For him it was about heart and making the world a better place through laughter. I am grateful for all that he did for me and he will be dearly missed.”

Marshall would later return to the Academy in August 2012, where he brought with him his film The Flamingo Kid.

Marshall talked at length about his career, and spoke affectionately about his cast on Happy Days, as well as working with his sister, Penny Marshall, on Laverne & Shirley.

When asked about his reputation for writing romantic comedies, he replied, “They call me schmaltzy. They call me sentimental. But they call me. And we do another movie.”

While we mourn the loss of the Hollywood icon, we should remember the words of wisdom he passed on to our students.

“When you’re foolish, you have to get the humor out of it. Pain plus time equals humor. I learned that from Lenny Bruce. Adversity happens. You have to decide, each one of you in the mirror, when you get whacked, do you get back up, or do you give up and go make babies?”

“Don’t quit. Life is a journey, and I’ve been doing it a while. Whining is absolutely allowed, but try to confine it to a half hour per day or you’ll drive everyone crazy.”

Thankfully, Marshall leaves us with a slew of groundbreaking and iconic TV shows and films, including Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, Mork and Mindy, Pretty Woman, Beaches, Frankie and Johnny, and many others.