The news of legendary director Garry Marshall's unexpected passing at 81 has hit celebs and fans like a ton of bricks. Marshall had recently finished promotions for his now-final film, Mother's Day. While no new projects were in the director's sights, there seemed to be no sign of him slowing down anytime soon. Many celebrity tributes to Marshall reflect the late director's tenacity, creativity and warmth, qualities reflected in the films he directed. What has become evident to me very quickly in this mass outpouring of love is just how many lives Marshall touched in his long career. He was not merely a director. He was also a friend, parent, writer, actor and perhaps most importantly, a mentor. Marshall's genuine positivity was touched on in a tribute published in The Hollywood Reporter, written by John Stamos. Additionally, the actor also recalled one fact about Marshall that many fans might not know — unless they're Full House fans. Apparently, Marshall came up with the Full House catchphrase, "Have mercy!"
Stamos wrote of his mentor: "He famously suggested me for the role of 'Uncle Jesse"' on Full House. When I got the job and asked for advice, he simply said, 'Get a catch phrase.”' So you have Garry to blame for'“Have mercy.'" Who'dve thought?! Thank you Garry Marshall, seriously.
Stamos also described Marshall as a man of infinite warmth: "He could make people smile without even saying a word. Just the sight of him made you happy. Then he’d open his mouth and you’d laugh. He could say just about anything and make it funny." He also recalled what colors the director thought were funniest (pink and black, for those who want to know). In Stamos' eyes, Marshall was a ray of light.
I think it's important to keep hammering this point home about Marshall. His friendliness, his positive outlook on life and his silver-linings outlook on life are a trio of admirable attributes. In Hollywood — a place and culture marked by its cynicism — Marshall was a man who stood out from the crowd. Each tribute you see reads in the vein of Stamos'. He also writes that, "Garry called me shortly after Robin Williams took his life. He said, 'Don’t get depressed. Never get depressed. Call me if you ever get depressed. I’ll be there for you.'"
Marshall, a man who worked in Hollywood for over 50 years, came away seemingly untouched by a tendency towards negativity. His sunshine-y outlook is reflected in his body of work, too — strongly accented by his comedic flourishes, films like Overboard, Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries all acknowledge the darker side of life but they don't drown in it; instead, they overcome it with a laugh and a smile. That's Marshall, through and through, and it always will be.