BetteBack June 10, 1992: Bette To The Rescue

Chronicle Telegram
Marshall seeks one creative force who’s a star
June 10, 1992

Garry Marshall has been producer of shows like “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy,” and also directed movies like “Pretty Woman” and “Frankie and Johnny.”

He says he has a secret when working with stars.

“I always try to hire an adult to work on a project.”

Hector Elizondo is one of my favorite adults. (Elizondo costarred in ‘Pretty Woman’). All of my shows had an adult. Conrad Janis on ‘Mork and Mindy,’ Tom Bosley on ‘Happy Days.’ Ron Howard was kind of a young adult, and Betty Garrett on ‘Laverne & Shirley.’ They always hold down the fort.”

Sometimes he seeks out an adult for a single project. “It’s so you don’t go berserk,” he says.

“I’m a director who allows temperament. 1 think temperament is part of the arts, part of the creative process temperament So, you’re allowed to be a little crazy.

“But you have to have somebody who is an adult who’s not crazy all the time. And you can say, ‘Today you gotta be an adult for me because it’s a tough day or something.”

Some days he conscripts an actor for the job. “I’ll say to Al Pacino – which happened – ‘Michelle’s (Pfeiffer) brother is in the hospital so she’s a little shaky today. You have to help me carry this today.’ I don’t say it outright but I’d say, ‘Be an adult with me today – we have no time for temperament cause she’s got a thing.’

“And then the opposite. On another occasion I said to Michelle, ‘Hey, tomorrow is the Academy Awards, and he’s a little nervous, not so concentrated, so you and I will carry it.’ And they usually respond very well if I explain why.”

There are some you can always count on, he says.

Bette Midler. No matter what’s happening you can say, ‘Bette, I’m in trouble and suddenly she’s totally in charge and supporting. We had an actor in ‘Beaches’ who was having all sorts of marital problems and she just took over and made it easier for him.”

Marshall’s sister, Penny Marshall, worked for many years with him on “Laverne & Shirley.”

“My sister’s like that,” he says. “Does nothing except in crisis. In a crisis there’s nobody better. She just wanders along, but if something goes wrong, you go to Penny and she’ll always come through for you.”

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