Garry Marshall praised by sister

Penny Marshall has paid tribute to her late brother Garry Marshall for giving her life and launching her career

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Garry Marshall

Garry Marshall

Garry Marshall's sister has praised him for giving her "a life".

The 81-year-old director - who died in July - gave Penny Marshall her big break in 'The Odd Couple', and she was catapulted to bigger success in another of his shows, 'Happy Days' spin-off 'Laverne & Shirley', and she'll always be grateful for his helping hand.

She said: "My brother gave me a life. It's not many people who have a brother who give them a life. He gave me a life and I appreciate it and I tried to not let him down."

Penny is to star in an 'Odd Couple' tribute episode alongside her former 'Laverne & Shirley' co-star Cindy Williams.

And Cindy admits she initially thought it was a "joke" when her pal told her just how ill her brother was.

She recalled to 'Entertainment Tonight': "Penny called me. She said, 'Garry's sick. I think he's dying.' I didn't believe her. I thought it was a joke. That night he passed, and someone brought me this picture of Penny, me and Garry and Henry [Winkler]. It was at the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony and I just burst out crying."

Current 'Odd Couple' star Thomas Lennon is still stunned he could count Garry as a friend.

He wept as he said: "If you could go back somehow and tell the childhood version of myself that the creator of 'Happy Days' and 'Laverne & Shirley' would be my friend, I would never have believed it.

"Excuse me. I am Irish. I cry a ton."

The tribute episode will see Oscar (Matthew Perry) reconnecting with people from his father Walter's life as he prepares to scatter his ashes behind the candy factory his dad - who was played by Garry - used to own.

Ron Howard, Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Don Most and Pam Dawber will also guest star on the episode, which airs on November 7.

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