WATCH FOR A SNEAK PEEK:
ABOUT THE SHOW:
This nostalgic comedy set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin focused on the Cunninghams and their two kids, Richie and Joanie as they hang out at the local drive-in and explore love, friendship and growing up in the 1950s.
MEET THE CAST:
RON HOWARD – Richie Cunningham
Ron Howard continues to exude a boyish charm. For some viewers, he will always be known as Opie Taylor, while for others he’s known as Richie Cunningham.
In 1960, while only six years old, Ron was already an accomplished television veteran. He was cast as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show and stayed with the series for eight years. In 1973, Howard became a bona fide star with the success of the movie American Graffiti. He played Steve Bollander in this George Lucas film, which helped kickstart a 1950s revival. Because of Howard’s stardom and the sudden popularity of 1950s nostalgia, ABC brought Happy Days to the air in 1974. Howard starred as Richie Cunningham, the innocently charming boy next door.
Despite the demanding schedule on Happy Days, Howard worked to expand his career into the realm of directing. He had experimented with short films since he was a teenager and in the mid-70s he got a chance to direct his first feature-length film, Grand Theft Auto.
In 1980, with Happy Days still gathering high ratings, Howard left the series to pursue his directing career. As a director, he has compiled a truly impressive list of hit films, including Night Shift, Splash, Cocoon, Parenthood, Backdraft, The Paper, Apollo 13, and many others.
HENRY WINKLER – Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli
Henry Winkler is an actor, producer and director who is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Fonzie in Happy Days, which won him the status of pop culture icon, as well as two consecutive Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Comedy Series and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is a recipient of the United Nations Peace Prize and has received France’s highest civilian honor, the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Winkler has starred in numerous other television series, including Arrested Development, Crossing Jordan and The Practice, for which he also received an Emmy nomination.
His feature film credits include Scream, The Waterboy and Holes. On Broadway he starred in Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party, and he is the co-author, with Lin Oliver, of nine children’s novels called Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Underachiever.
TOM BOSLEY – Howard Cunningham
In 1958, after years of stage work, Tom Bosley was cast as the lead in the Broadway musical Fiorello! about the legendary New York City mayor. His performance was nothing less than stunning and he won a “grand slam” of New York theatrical awards, including top honors from the Tony Awards, the Drama Critics, and the Newspaper Guild.
From that point on, Bosley became one of the busiest actors in the business. He appeared on countless television shows, including Route 66, Dr. Kildare, Mod Squad, and Bewitched. His first film role came in 1963 when he starred with Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood in Love with a Proper Stranger.
After his most famous TV role as Mr. C. on Happy Days, Bosley played Sheriff Amos Tupper, a semi-regular character on Murder, She Wrote. In 1989, he starred in his own whodunnit series, Father Dowling Mysteries.
MARION ROSS – Marion Cunningham
Marion Ross’ prolific television career includes an exhaustive 700-plus appearances on different shows, in addition to her long-running role as Mrs. Cunningham on Happy Days.
In 1953, Ross made her big-screen debut in Forever Female, where she appeared with Ginger Rogers. A steady stream of film work followed, including parts in The Glenn Miller Story, Sabrina, and Operation Petticoat. But she was not destined for big-screen success; television would prove to be her medium.
Ross’ fame on the small screen began in 1953 when she played the Irish maid on the series Life With Father for two years. Her list of credits spans the history of classic TV, from The Burns and Allen Show to Love Boat and Night Court. In 1991 she starred as Jewish grandma Sophie Berger in the critically acclaimed series Brooklyn Bridge.
ERIN MORAN – Joanie Cunningham
Erin Moran did her first television commercial at the age of six and became a regular cast member of two television programs, Daktari and The Don Rickles Show, long before Happy Days. She also made guest appearances on many other shows, including The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, My Three Sons, and Family Affair. Moran had parts in several films as well, including the 1968 Debbie Reynolds movie, How Sweet It Is, and Watermelon Man in 1970.
After several seasons on Happy Days, Moran continued her role as Joanie Cunningham in the short-lived spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi. When this series was cancelled in 1983, she returned to Happy Days for the final season. Her work since then includes three episodes of Love Boat and a guest spot on Murder, She Wrote.
SCOTT BAIO – Charles “Chachi” Arcola
While still a novice performer, Baio was selected from a field of 2,000 other child actors for the starring role in the 1976 film Bugsy Malone. Following his feature-film debut, he appeared in the television movie Luke Was There and his television career was born.
In 1977, he became a regular on Happy Days as Fonzie’s cousin, Chachi Arcola. In 1978, his family relocated to Hollywood to keep up with his demanding career. Besides playing Chachi, the busy teenager also appeared in the films Skatetown, USA, Foxes, and Zapped!. In 1982, Baio co-starred with Erin Moran in their own show, Joanie Loves Chachi, a Happy Days spin-off. The series was cancelled after a single season and both actors returned to Happy Days in 1983 for the final year.
In 1984, Baio won the starring role in Charles in Charge, which lasted five seasons. Next to Chachi Arcola, Charles is Scott Baio’s best known role.
DONNY MOST – Ralph Malph
When Donny Most auditioned for the part of Potsie on Happy Days, he was immediately ruled out because of his hair colour. Ron Howard, a redhead, had already been cast in the lead role and the producers did not want another redhead to play the best friend. But the producers liked Most too much to simply ignore him. In the original script, the character Ralph Malph was a football jock. Garry Marshall decided to cast Most as Ralph and, playing off Most’s comic ability, he changed the dumb jock into the class comedian.
In 1980, Most left the series to expand his acting career. His biggest post-Happy Days job was doing voiceovers for the animated series Dungeons and Dragons. He also made guest appearances on Fantasy Island, CHiPs, Love Boat, and Murder, She Wrote.
Like other Happy Days cast members, Most has become a director, working on numerous stage productions in the Los Angeles area.
ANSON WILLIAMS – Warren “Potsie” Weber
Besides a string of TV commercials, including several for McDonald’s, Anson Williams’ first role on television was on an episode of Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law. Appearances on The Paul Lynde Show, Marcus Welby, M.D., and three variety specials with Tony Randall soon followed.
The role of Potsie on Happy Days was the perfect opportunity for Williams to showcase his acting and vocal talents. After hearing him sing backstage, the writers incorporated his singing ability into the show. Williams soon began to perform across the country and released several records.
Over the last several years, Williams has compiled an extensive list of credits as a television director. In addition to several television movies, he has directed episodes of L.A. Law, Hooperman, Melrose Place, and Hercules. In 1987, he and fellow Happy Days cast member Al Molinaro opened a chain of diners in the midwest called, appropriately enough, Big Al’s.