Lowell Ganz

Actor, Director, Writer

31/08/1948 (74 years old)

Screenwriter Lowell Ganz was 23 years old when he was taken under the wing of TV producer Gary Marshall as a member of the writing staff of the popular sitcom The Odd Couple. Marshall liked Ganz's offbeat sense of humor and his willingness to work long hours for the sake of a laugh; by 1974, Ganz was a co-producer of Happy Days. During his tenure on Laverne and Shirley, which he helped develop, Ganz and writer Mark "Babaloo" Mandel formed a screenwriting team, distinguished by a fondness for unorthodox comic situations. A prime example of this style was Ganz and Mandel's first movie screenplay, Night Shift (1982), the story of a morgue attendant who runs a prostitution service in his off-hours. Night Shift reunited Ganz and Mandel with Happy Days confreres Henry Winkler (the star) and Ron Howard (the director); it was Howard who insisted that the writing team pen his next project, Splash (1984), a man-and-mermaid romance. With this hit under their belts, Ganz and Mandel became one of the hottest duos in Hollywood, turning out such subsequent hits as Parenthood (1989) and City Slickers (1991). When Ganz and Mandel's A League of Their Own (1992) (which co-starred their mentor Garry Marshall) was spun off into a TV series, the team came full circle, once more burning the midnight oil as sitcom scriveners.