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My Happy Days in Hollywood: A Memoir

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  867 ratings  ·  183 reviews
With the television hits The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy, and movies like The Flamingo Kid, Beaches, Pretty Woman, and The Princess Diaries under his belt, Garry Marshall has been among the most successful writers, directors, and producers in America for more than five decades. His work on the small and big screen has delighted audie ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Crown Archetype (first published January 1st 2012)
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I loved this book! My mom read and it and was constantly filling me in on the most recent chapter she’d read, but she still thought I should read it myself. And I’m so glad I did!

I adore so many of Garry Marshall’s films, and have always appreciated his informative bonus features on his DVDs. But reading his auto-biography gave me a whole new appreciation for him as a director/writer/actor, as well as a person.

The book reads very quickly, and there’s delightful humor throughout. Instead of a “d
Of all the people in Hollywood these days, few of them even come close to Garry Marshall's veteran status. Between producing, directing, and/or writing (Mork and Mindy, Princess Diaries, The Odd Couple, and countless others) and even some acting (Race to Witch Mountain, Murphy Brown, Grand Theft Auto, and lots more,) Marshall's many works are well-known to pretty much everyone. As a long-time entertainment fan myself, I picked up this book thinking I'd enjoy it. Did I? a degree. There ...more
I rarely use the word "delightful", but it's the first word that came to mind after reading Mr. Marshall's memoir, "My Happy Days in Hollywood". How fortunate that someone with such a long and impressive career also has the writing skills to share it with his readers in such an easy conversational style. He takes us along on his journey, starting as a sickly child in the Bronx, through college and the military, continuing with his career as a comedy writer and then progressing to producing and d ...more
“Beware of the boring.” –Garry Marshall’s mother’s advice. When he asked what boring was, she replied, “Your father.”

“Garry is celebrating eleven years of being round-shouldered.” –Marshall’s mother, on his birthday

“I thought they were trying to kill me.” –Marshall’s reaction at age 7 when he heard a doctor say that the family had to move to Arizona for the sake of his (Garry’s) health, and his father flatly refused because “We can’t afford it.”

“I’ll give you a dollar if you stop bleeding.” –Mar
Joanna Wilson
Yes, I watch alot of TV. But I also read quite a bit. And, yes, I read about the television and film industry. So you've got to know I was all over Garry Marshall's new autobiography that came out this year. I know Marshall as the successful writer-producer of several of my favorite TV shows from the 1970s. But his very long and successful career in Hollywood, before and after these TV shows, fills the pages of this book with his keys to success for what it takes to make it in the crazy business ...more
The name dropping alone is worth the read, this man knows everyone who is anyone in the entertainment biz for the last 50 years or so. He's worked for or with everyone from Joey Bishop to Zac Efron along the way gathering a reputation as a great director for movies starring and skewed for women.

Garry Marshall came from a non-traditional family unit and was a sickly child. Those two things fueled his desire to make a traditional marriage and family, to be happy and share that happier outlook on l
Interesting. Enlightening. Inspiring. I enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about Garry Marshall, his family and his life. He seems like a very positive person (he writes a "W" on each day of his calendar for "Win" ... well, until he got cancer - he needed a little extra positive nudge so he wrote "V" for victory) with a great sense of humor (he liked to play practical jokes at work - and he even occasionally lost his temper, and the consequences of those times were funny, too).

I had no i
Aug 10, 2012 Jillyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: movie buffs
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

This book is a nice, quick read about the life of director Garry Marshall.

What I liked about this book is that it was relatively upbeat. He seems to be a pretty positive guy, & that made the book more enjoyable for me. I was also a fan of the fact that nothing really dragged out. Admittedly, this book is a lot of name dropping. But he moves through the timeline pretty fast, so there's no whole pointless chapters focused on one tiny aspect,
I’ve always enjoyed Garry Marshall ever since I saw him play the part of Stan Lansing in the TV show Murphy Brown, so of course I had to read his new memoir My Happy Days in Hollywood. He is just as sweet and kind as we’ve always suspected.

Garry is a writer, director, actor, and producer. Some of the TV shows he directed are The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and Mork and Mindy. Some of the movies he directed or produced are Frankie and Johnny, Beaches, Pretty Woman, and The Prince
I like Garry Marshall and almost all of the more popular work he has done in television and movies. I read reviews of this book and one said it was a lot of name-dropping. I think that is allowed, when your own name is dropped. I'd say Garry Marshall is on the level or above a lot of the names he dropped. Besides, he worked with all these 'names' and MADE them names.

So, if you like romantic comedy movies and sentimental sitcoms of the 70's you'll like this book. I was impressed by Garry's reinv
May 12, 2012 Carol rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I love reading books that tell you what goes on behind the scenes and this book does a great job of that. Garry's dry humor kept me smiling through out the book. I like the way he laid out his chapters so you immediately knew if it would be interesting to you. He is not vicious or mean and if has something negative to say about someone, he does it in a nice or a funny way.

I enjoy his movies and television shows so it was a lot of fun to see how they were created and what it was like filming the
Janet Isenberg
This is a delightful book that had me laughing out loud. That was somewhat embarrassing, since I listened to Garry's reading of his autobiography while I took my daily walk. Listening added a lot to the experience since Garry's authentic Bronx accent is a treat for those of us from 'the neighborhood.' During his 50+ years in the entertainment industry, he's worked with a veritable who's who of old-time radio, 60s and 70s television and modern-day movies. When he describes all these famous people ...more
Natalie Marlin
I'm a sucker for a Hollywood memoir and I jumped at the chance to read the words of Garry Marshall. His long and successful career has brought him together with so many "greats" : from Jackie Gleason and Lucille Ball to Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway. He seems to be a straightforward kind of guy, and this comes out in his writing which is to-the-point. I enjoyed the tidbits from behind the scenes of his shows and movies. He is honest about difficulties with actors and coworkers but in the end h ...more
Robin Fichtelberg
This seems to be a "give everyone I ever met thanks and credit before I die" book. It was not well written (yes, his daughter wrote with him), as he is name dropping every other sentence. Between that he makes the point (repeatedly) that he is a good father and wants to be there for his kids after school. The only interesting thing is reading about how connections and nepotism really are hard at work in Hollywood, along with tidbits about the movie stars, writers, and producers he has worked wit ...more
I love Garry Marshall movies and have always like him and his sister Penny. This is a great behind-the-scenes book about his different movies and TV shows. I really enjoyed hearing about what happened and why things were done the way they were done. I also enjoyed the audio book which had Garry reading it himself. If you like Hollywood then read this one.
Tom Emory Jr.

Garry Marshall writes like he’s the Will Rogers of Hollywood. His memoir “My Happy Days in Hollywood” has wonderful things to say about everyone (including even Lindsay Lohan). He apparently has never met a man (or woman) he didn't like and admire and respect. Looking back at a nearly 60-year career, he is generous and happy and considerate and kind. It’s best to read this extremely readable and likable book in a cool location since the book radiates its own warmth.

Garry Marshall created “Happy
Garry Marshall is a writer, director, producer, and actor of TV and movies. This book was so enjoyable to read. He comes across as just a regular guy who loves his wife and family and likes to stay close to home. He and his wife have been married for 50 years which must be some kind of record in Hollywood. They have 3 children and 6 grandchildren and all have appeared in or worked on his projects in some fashion or other. If you are expecting one of those books where the author slams everyone he ...more
This memoir clearly demonstrates that Garry Marshall plans to continue working in Hollywood. Why do I say that? Where's the dirt? It is almost as if he has nothing at all negative to say about those actors and actresses he has worked with, even those who acted negatively. Oh, he mentions that some are difficult to deal with. He describes the happiest days of his life (working on Happy Days) and the darkest days (Laverne and Shirley). The closest he gets to demeaning any of those he has worked wi ...more
Garry Marshall has, in my opinion, made a career on making pleasant yet forgettable shows and films. You watch them, smile a little, and move on. His autobiography is much the same way. He's a nice guy and his story is a successful one, but the book is ultimately very... okay.

The first half covers his life as a sick kid growing up in the Bronx and rising up as a writer for people like Danny Thomas and Joey Bishop. The story is pretty fascinating, to be sure, and it's a breezy narrative that ente
Mar 29, 2013 Dawn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who has enjoyed Garry's tv shows and movies.
Recommended to Dawn by: I saw Garry on tv promoting his book & couldn't wait to read all his interesting stories.
I really enjoyed this book. Garry's shows "Happy Days" & "Laverne & Shirley" are a fond memory of my childhood. Every Tuesday night, we had to have our homework done, so we could watch those shows before bed. Some of my favorite movies were directed by Garry Marshall: "Beaches", "Pretty Woman", "The Other Sister" & "Princess Diaries". He has brought years of entertaining tv shows and movies for our enjoyment. I really loved reading about little happenings on set and his dealings and ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed Garry Marshall's autobiography. Learning about him growing up in New York, to school at NorthWestern, serving in South Korea, to his beginnings as a writer for The Dick Van Dyke Show, Joey Bishop, Lucille Ball, et. al.

I felt this book would be good not only for those that enjoy some of Garry's TV work (The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy) to his movies including The Flamingo Kid, Pretty Woman, Frankie and Johnny, The Princess Diaries and the seque
Stirling Gardner
I hate to say this, but this book, by a man that I love, admire and respect as a comedic artist, is incredibly boring and surprisingly unfunny.

Garry Marshall has created and/or worked on some of the most iconic TV shows (Dick Van Dyke, The Odd Couple, Happy Days) and films (Pretty Woman) ever made and therefore, I expected the ride in the book to be much more interesting.

It's just not a good read. It makes me wonder if it was ghost-written by someone without a sense of humor. It's just dry and
The book reads like he talks and made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. As a tv addict, it was fun to read about his rise through the ranks and his dealings with some of the biggest stars and egos. Through it all, Mr. Marshall maintains his sense of humor and down-to-earth attitudes. He's not the best writer for this medium and tends to interject asides in the middle of a chapter, often repeating something he's already mentioned. A better editor would have caught this, but it's still ...more
Preston Pairo
This is a very easy read by a wonderful Hollywood talent, but events are covered so quickly and briefly that it lacks depth and insight. Many chapters almost feel as if being narrated by the host at a party announcing celebrities as they arrive.

It's ironic (or perhaps appropriate) that Mr. Marshall's numerous reflections upon what critics often found lacking in some of his movies is also a bit lacking in this telling of his professional life: namely, a failure to take us beyond a mere scratching
I didn't plan to read this but I recently read Penny Marshall's memoir and I was looking for a different book on that same shelf in the library when I saw this. I thought it would be interesting to read after reading some things about Garry in Penny's book. Garry's book provided interesting stories about his life as a writer, producer and director of TV shows, theater productions and movies - both big hits and not such big hits. I enjoyed it a lot.
Garry Marshall is a contemporary of my parents, even growing up in the same neighborhood in the Bronx. I got goosebumps reading his stories about the Grand Concourse.

Interesting, having read the Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch books this year -- Second City has played a role for all of them.

Marshall strikes me as a grounded, good-hearted guy. This book was a pleasure -- a fun trip through some childhood memories.
Shelly Davis
This was a fun walk down memory lane from some of my favorite childhood TV shows.
Winter Sophia Rose
Inspiring, Funny, Charming & Engaging! A Wonderful Read! I Loved It!
Deborah Poston
Garry Marshall has written a delightful book about his life starting in the Bronx and how he ended up in Hollywood. His family beginnings started with a mother who was a born performer and who passed that passion onto her son. Mr. Marshall started his writing career in the Army and graduated to the big league, writing for "The Tonight Show", The Joey Bisop Show" and later graduated to situation comedies. His greatest television hit was the incomparable "Happy Days" which fully describes his life ...more
May 19, 2013 Jane rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like Garry Marshall's sitcoms and movies and want an light read.
This one fits the category of an easy book to listen to while getting the chores done. I wasn't expecting great literature here so it was easy to meet my expectations. Garry Marshall is very likable and it was interesting to read about how he broke into the business and hear about the behind the scenes moments in making his many TV series and hit movies. Garry gets extra points from me for doing the reading of his audio book. I remember watching the director's notes on one of his DVDs and being ...more
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