"I have been fortunate in the sense that I have not lost many people that have made a significant, life changing impact to my world. Today, we lost someone who not only changed my life, but changed and touched the lives of so many others," Mitchell wrote on Instagram. "Through his work, Garry Marshall was able to make us laugh, cry, feel joy and pride one moment, and the next, utter sadness. But he always did this in a beautiful way that made for such fantastic and timeless films."
Mitchell, who played the new, young wife of Jennifer Aniston's character's ex-husband in Mother's Day, truly hit the nail on the head in her tribute to Marshall. The man is a pivotal piece of pop culture, delighting generation after generation of children, teens, adults — and actors — alike.
For literal decades, his movies and TV shows have resonated with fans of all ages — from Happy Days to The Flamingo Kid to Beaches to Pretty Woman to Runaway Bride to The Princess Diaries to Valentine's Day. But what's so important about Mitchell's tribute is that it shows just how his work (and advice) has spanned across generations of actors, as well. From the Ron Howards to the Bette Midlers to the Julia Roberts to the Anne Hathaways to the Shay Mitchells (and, of course, the Hector Elizondos) of the world, Garry Marshall has worked with star talent of every generation, passing on his wisdom, his experience, and his joy to the actors truly fortunate enough to be involved in his work.
Mitchell's tribute is proof that Marshall will live on forever in the incredible legacy he left behind and in his immense body of work. But he will also live on in the hearts of the generations he touched with his movies and TV shows — from kids of the '70s to popular actors of 2016 — and everyone in between.
R.I.P., Garry Marshall.