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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Garry.

I worked with Garry Marshall for the better part of seven years in the 70's and early eighties.
I owe him my entire career.
After co-writing a spec script for "The Odd Couple" that got us hired, we lasted eight weeks.
We got hired upon Tony Randall and Jack Klugman's recommendation.
Ironically, neither Tony nor Jack had any knowledge that the other one sent our script to Garry.
But, as Tony and Jack were the lords and masters of all things "Odd Couple", if they wanted us hired,
we were hired.
The problem we had was that we were constantly being re-written by people over us who couldn't hold our pens.
We couldn't convince Tony and Jack of that, so we were fired.
But Garry saw something in us and held out a lifeline to us inviting us to keep attending run-throughs, and telling us that once our contract with our agent was up, that he wanted to manage us.
That was quite a lifeline.
Months later, true to his word, he became our manager and immediately assigned us an "Odd Couple" script to write.
We handed it in, with nobody rewriting us, and it was shot virtually the way we wrote it.
We had been around long enough to realize that this was unprecedented.
It was "hats in the air" time and we quickly became the fair-haired boys again.
It was all Garry's doing.
Garry was one of the funniest people to be around, and easily the smartest person when it came to the
business of show business.  It was a constant education.
My strength as a writer was as a story-teller.
Hanging around Garry only enhanced that ability for me.
He had what we called "peripheral story vision".
He knew immediately that if you did something on page 4, it would effect page 56.
It was astounding how accurate he could be with this.
And I eventually learned how to do it.
He went to bat for me when nobody else would.
He got me my job on 'The New Odd Couple" when the head of Paramount wouldn't hear of it.
I'd burned some bridges, including that one, but Garry somehow overcame that and jammed me down his throat.
I was lucky, because part of Garry's business genius was knowing which fights to pick, and which not to.  I could have easily fallen into the latter category.
Garry was also, in the best sense, a great bullshit artist.
When he directed Jackie Gleason in "Nothing In Common", he employed the tactic of trying to make
Gleason think that any good idea that Garry had was actually Gleason's idea.
After several of these, Gleason said to him "Gee, I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and see what wonderful idea I come up with".  Gleason completely nailed him.
But I digress.
As an actor, Garry's timing was unmatched.  He was a joy to watch.
Garry was an absolute giant, and we'll never see his likes again.

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My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@comcast.net
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
The phone number for tickets for my play, "Who Wants Fame?" beginning July 30th in Detroit, is 248-579-3365.  If you're in the area, you'll have a great time.
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7 comments:

  1. Nice tribute. I was eager to hear what you had to say about him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Garry was important. A big talent. Thanks.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. You might be qualified to get a Apple iPhone 7.

    ReplyDelete

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."