Do you know Garry Marshall? Sure you do. He’s directed, written and/or acted in everything from “Happy Days” to “Pretty Woman” to “The Princess Diaries”, and a million other things that are delightfully entertaining. He has even written an opera!
Today, I was lucky enough to see him speak at a group called Women Who Write. It is a gathering of women writers that Vicki Abelson has brought together, and every month someone (or a few someones) come in to read, answer questions and mingle. Today it was Garry, who was every bit as incredible as I had hoped he would be, and here is why. Because despite a career that has spanned decades and brought him wealth, fame and even a street in the Bronx named after him, he’s just a guy. A guy who tells great stories and who clearly loves his family, and who plays softball and enjoys life. A guy who cares about people and takes the time to look them in the eye and pay attention to what they have to say. A guy with a positive attitude, who above everything else, has not forgotten that everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
He told stories about Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Dick Van Dyke, Carl Reiner, Ann Hathaway and Taylor Swift, and not once did he sound as though he was dropping names. On the contrary, he humanized them all by telling the stories so well that you could imagine being on set or at these same parties he was discussing. I don’t know how long he talked but I could have listened to him all day long.
It’s days like this that I am so grateful to live in Los Angeles, to be an artist, and to be allowed access to such wonderful opportunities. If you ever get a chance to attend a Garry Marshall event, run, don’t walk. In the meantime, you can pick up his new book, My Happy Days in Hollywood.