Earlier this week, well-loved director and screenwriter Garry Marshall passed away. You know him from some of your favorite feel-good films: Pretty Woman, Beaches, Runaway Bride. But it’s not a stretch to say that dance often made an appearance in a lot of his work. Here are four of my favorite dance (or dance-esque) scenes from Marshall’s repertoire.
First up, The Princess Diaries. Who can forget Mia Thermopolis’ dance lesson with Joe? (“No bobbing of the head please. You are not a doggy on a dashboard.”) Plus, you get at least a good 30 seconds of watching Queen Julie Andrews slink sultrily across the dance floor.
Maybe you were a fan of “Happy Days” in its original airing, or maybe (like me) you caught it on Nick at Nite and fell in love. And while my crush was always Richie (#nerdalert), no one’s going to deny that the Fonz had some serious dance skills. This scene was part of an episode where Fonzie enters a marathon dance contest. His quadriceps are clearly amazing.
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” was another one of my Nick at Nite favorites. And though Marshall didn’t create this show, he did write many of its episodes. I feel like they gave the sublime Mary Tyler Moore the opportunity to show off her considerable dance talent as often as possible. (I mean, have you seen the movie version of Thoroughly Modern Millie? I now tap dance during long elevator rides because of this scene.)
OK, OK. So technically Marshall didn’t direct or write Hocus Pocus. But he did play a man who the three witches think is the devil. (“He has a little woman!”) So it’s hard for me to resist including the “I Put a Spell on You” scene. Even though he’s not even in it.