By Dana Getz
July 20, 2016 at 03:36 PM EDT
Ross Gilmore/Getty Images

Richard Gere has joined the long list of celebrities honoring Garry Marshall, who died Tuesday night at the age of 81.

Gere starred in two of the legendary director’s films: Runaway Bride (1999) and Pretty Woman (1990), the latter of which has since been hailed as a rom-com classic and remains one of Marshall’s most timeless entries.

“Garry of course was one of those truly important people one is blessed to meet in one’s lifetime,” Gere said in a statement. “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.”

The actor went on to praise Marshall’s giving spirit, adding, “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.”

Gere’s note adds to a growing list of Marshall’s collaborators that have remembered him since his death, including Happy Days stars Henry Winkler and Ron Howard, as well as Goldie Hawn, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Topher Grace, and Mandy Moore.

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