Richard Gere and Hector Elizondo have paid tribute to Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall.
The 1990 movie made Richard a heartthrob all over the world after he played a businessman who falls in love with Julia Roberts’ prostitute character Vivian Ward. Following Garry’s death on Tuesday aged 81 after suffering complications from pneumonia due to a stroke, Richard released a statement paying tribute to the director.
“Garry of course was one of those truly important people one is blessed to meet in one’s lifetime,” Richard told Entertainment Tonight. “Besides being the pulse and life force of Pretty Woman – a steady helmsman on a ship that could have easily capsized – he was a super fine and decent man, husband and father who brought real joy and love and infectious good spirits to everything and everyone he crossed paths with.
“Everyone loved Garry. He was a mentor and a cheerleader and one of the funniest men who ever lived. He had a heart of the purest gold and a soul full of mischief. He was Garry.”
Pretty Woman also starred Hector Elizondo as Barney Thompson, an employee at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in the film. Following their collaboration, Hector went on to star in every one of Garry’s movies, right up to the most recent – Mother’s Day.
Insisting he wanted to remember Garry in a positive way, Hector told ET: “This should be a celebration. I’m trying to put myself in a (positive) frame of mind because it’s been such a body blow, (and a) collective body blow too to so many thousands of people. He was my best friend, simply put.
“He was a kind man, an elegant man, and a loyal, loyal man. He just elevated the atmosphere he was in. He mentored so many people. He loved seeing character in people. He used to say, ‘Everybody has talent, Hector! Everybody has talent but it’s the character that makes the difference!'”
Another of the most famous films during Garry’s prolific career was The Princess Diaries, which starred Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway in the lead roles.
Following Garry’s passing, Julie said in a statement to ET: “I am devastated to hear of Garry’s passing. He was a dear friend and colleague… generous to a fault. My heart goes out to (his wife) Barbara and the entire family. We shall miss him.”
Prior to his movie career, Garry found fame when he created hit show Happy Days. The program launched the career of now world-famous director Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham in the show, and he was quick to take to Twitter to express his grief.
“RIP #GarryMarshall whose humour & humanity inspired,” he said. “He was a world class boss & mentor whose creativity and leadership meant a ton to me.
“Garry’s mantra, to those who succeeded in entertainment was simple…’Life is more important that show business’. I miss Garry already. He leaves a huge void for all who were lucky to be in his orbit. A great friend.”0