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'Lucky to be in his orbit': Stars pay tribute to director Garry Marshall

The director, who leaves behind a legacy of hilarious odd couple sitcom and movie parings, had a lot of Hollywood fans.
/ Source: TODAY

The world's a little less funny today with the loss of Garry Marshall, who died Tuesday night at age 81 of complications from pneumonia following a stroke.

But the director/writer/producer/actor who created such classics as "Happy Days," "Mork and Mindy" and "Pretty Woman" leaves behind a legacy of adoring fans and Hollywood superstars who simply wouldn't have their careers without his guidance.

MORE: TV and film great Garry Marshall turns 80: Pick the best of his best

Here are just a few who've stepped forward thus far to remind us what a stellar 55-year career in the business means, starting naturally with the "Happy Days" gang:

Garry Marshall circa 1978 with select stars from his 1970s TV hits: Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, Robin Williams, Cindy Williams, Pam Dawber and Henry Winkler.Courtesy Everett Collection

Meanwhile, Zelda Williams posted on behalf of her late father Robin Williams, who got his start on Marshall's "Mork & Mindy" series:

Richard Gere's career took an upswing when he appeared in the Marshall-directed 1990 classic "Pretty Woman" with Julia Roberts, and said in a statement, "Garry of course was one of those truly important people one is blessed to meet in one’s lifetime. 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 every thing 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."

Garry Marshall with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts on the set of "Pretty Woman" in 1990.Buena Vista Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Marshall appeared with Gere and Roberts on TODAY in 2015 for a special anniversary cast reunion, sharing wonderful stories about the making of the iconic film.

Goldie Hawn worked with Marshall in TV and on 1987's "Overboard," and he went on to direct her daughter Kate Hudson in films like 2004's "Raising Helen" and this year's "Mother's Day," too.

Marshall directed Tom Hanks in some of his earliest films as the actor moved away from television, including 1986's "Nothing in Common," 1988's "Big" and 1992's "A League of Their Own."

And though you might have forgotten, Marshall directed Bette Midler in 19882's "Beaches":

Others, whether they worked with him or not, also issued outpourings of grief and remembrance on social media:

MORE: Kate Hudson and Garry Marshall talk about new film 'Mother's Day'

Garry Marshall at a "Happy Days" baseball game in 1979.ABC via Getty Images file

And he touched the hearts of those of us at TODAY as well; Hoda Kotb shared a photo from Marshall's 2016 visit to Studio 1A, while Kathie Lee Gifford offered up some thoughtful words:

Be sure to check back here for more tributes as we add them to this growing list.

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.