Julia Roberts Breaks Silence on Garry Marshall’s Death, Shares Heartfelt Words

Julia Roberts is mourning the loss of her dear friend and mentor Garry Marshall, who died July 19 at the age of 81.

Roberts spoke to People, saying, “To know Garry Marshall was to love him. And I was luckier than most to have loved him for my entire adult life and luckier still to have been loved by him because his love was unconditional, inexhaustible and magical. There is no way to put into words, brief or expounded, how I feel about Garry. He held too big a place in my life and in my heart. He was a giant in every way.”

Roberts was just 21 when she made the 1990 Pretty Woman with director Marshall, the film which put the Oscar winner on the map. She went on to make several films with him, including Runaway Bride and the ensemble movies Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

The actress recalled how Marshall changed “[her] life in so many ways,” including watching his hit TV shows when she was a kid. “I was 7-years-old when Happy Days came on TV. Followed a couple of years later by Laverne & Shirley and then Mork & Mindy. I have said before that Garry Marshall raised me, and it is rather true.”

She added, “For 10 years he made all who watched television laugh and learn and strive to be better, more open people. He taught us to be nice, that life could be simple and sweet and, most importantly, that friends and family were everything. Anywhere he traveled and each story he told contained his love and devotion and gratitude for his family. He taught by example how work and family intertwine.”

Roberts concluded, “I do believe, at a time when the world seems to suffer so deeply, we could all benefit from remembering Garry’s ideals and stories of kindness and honesty—how good we can be if we just try.”