Garry Marshall may be gone but he is far from forgotten, as evidenced by Monday’s news that CBS sitcom “The Odd Couple” would be paying tribute to the late film and television legend in an upcoming episode.
During his extensive career in Hollywood, Marshall created “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy,” among other shows for television, and directed film favorites “Beaches” and “Pretty Woman.”
Marshall was also responsible for developing and serving as executive producer of the original television iteration of “The Odd Couple,” starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman and served as an executive consultant on the current CBS version.
The latest version of Neil Simon’s 1965 play about dissimilar roommates, Oscar Madison (Matthew Perry) and Felix Unger (Thomas Lennon), also featured Marshall in a guest role as Madison’s father, Walter, in an April episode.
The upcoming tribute episode will feature Madison granting his father’s final wishes of having his ashes spread behind a candy factory he used to own and, along the way, meeting several significant individuals from his father’s life.
Those individuals include a bevy of stars from Marshall’s TV work, including Ron Howard, Marion Ross, Anson Williams and Don Most from “Happy Days,” Pam Dawber from “Mork & Mindy” and Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall (Garry Marshall’s sister) from “Laverne & Shirley.”
“The writing staff and everyone on ‘The Odd Couple’ reboot was thrilled when Garry Marshall joined us as a producer because his shows were part of our TV DNA,” said Bob Daily, executive producer of the series, in a statement released Monday.
“He was a kind, generous presence on the set, and we loved him dearly. And when we lost him, we knew we had to do something to honor his legacy – something that, like Garry’s work, was both heartfelt and zany,” Daily said. “We are so grateful that the stars of these classic shows are able to join us in honoring him.”
The episode honoring Marshall will air Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. PST on CBS.