Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Happy Days

Happy Days Restaurant

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Happy Days follows the lives of the Cunningham family and their friend Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli, who live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

As well as introducing the world to the iconic character of “The Fonz” (Henry Winkler), Happy Days presents the Cunninghams – father Howard (Tom Bosley), his wife Marion (Marion Ross), their sons Richie (Ron Howard) and Chuck (Gavan O’Herlihy) and their daughter Joanie (Erin Moran) – and Richie’s two best friends, Potsie Weber (Anson Williams) and Ralph Malph (Don Most).

Other characters include Fonzie’s cousin, Chachi Arcola (Scott Baio); Mitsumo “Arnold” Takahashi (Pat Morita), the owner of the kids’ favorite hangout, Arnold’s Drive-In; Al Delvecchio (Al Molinaro) who bought the drive-in after Arnold left; Joanie’s best friend, Jenny Piccalo (Cathy Silvers); Richie’s girlfriend, Lori Beth Allen (Lynda Goodfriend); and Roger Phillips (Ted McGinley), Marion’s nephew and a teacher at the high school.

Happy Days cast

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler) – The epitome of cool, the Fonz or Fonzie is the guy every every boy wants to be and every girl wants to date. Abandoned by his parents and raised mostly by his Grandma Nussbaum (Frances Bay), Fonzie’s bad boy image belies a heart of gold. When Richie Cunningham and his friends are challenged to a rumble by gang members, Fonzie intervenes and the two become firm friends. Although we don’t see it on the show, Richie was apparently the only one of his friends to stand his ground against the gang, earning him Fonzie’s respect. Over time Fonzie becomes close to the rest of the Cunningham family, calling Marion “Mrs. C.” and Joanie “Shortcake”, and allowing Marion alone to call him by his given name of Arthur. Well known for standing up for people who can’t defend themselves, Fonzie’s problem-solving “office” is the men’s bathroom at Arnold’s. A snap of his fingers brings girls running, and his nudge can turn on a jukebox or get free sodas from a vending machine, a talent that became known as the “Fonzie Touch”. The Fonz has a rich menu of catchphrases, from “Ayyy!” – accompanied by a thumbs up – to “Sit on it!”, “Heyyy!” and “Whoa!”

Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) – Richie is the youngest son of Howard and Marion Cunningham, brother of Chuck and Joanie, and best friend to Fonzie, Potsie and Ralph Malph. He dreams of becoming a writer, working on his high school newspaper and later for the Milwaukee Journal. Role model Richie is kind and generous, polite to his parents, protective of his little sister and loyal to his friends. He has red hair and freckles and is always trying to find a girlfriend. When feeling confident, he sings Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino and you’ll know you’ve upset him if he calls you “bucko”.


Photo Courtesy of ABC

Howard Cunningham (Tom Bosley) – Family man Howard is Marion’s husband and the father of Chuck, Richie and Joanie (although after the first couple of seasons Chuck’s character disappears without explanation). He owns and runs Cunningham’s Hardware and belongs to “The Leopard Lodge”. At first not sure what to make of Fonzie, Howard soon learns to care for him like a member of the family. Fonzie in turn calls him Mr. C.

Marion Cunningham (Marion Ross) – Marion is the wife of Howard and mother of Chuck, Richie and Joanie. A traditional housewife, her maternal instincts extend to her children’s friends, including Fonzie. Marion – or Mrs. C, as her calls her – is the only person permitted to call Fonzie by his first name, Arthur, and the only woman to make him blush when she kisses him on the cheek.

Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran) – Joanie is the baby of the family and the only girl. Both Richie and Fonzie are very protective of her, the Fonz calling her “Shortcake”. As she gets older she starts to date but finds that her most persistent suitor is Fonzie’s cousin, Chachi Arcola. After several years of refusing him, she caves in and their first date is the start of something special.

richie cunningham

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Warren “Potsie” Weber (Anson Williams) – Potsie is one of Richie Cunningham’s two best high school friends. In early episodes he is more experienced and smooth than Richie, but later appears a little foolish. He has a poor relationship with his father (who is never seen) but a great talent for music. He later works at Cunningham’s Hardware, where he becomes assistant manager.

Ralph Malph (Don Most) – Ralph is the second of Richie’s high school best friends. When he’s not trying to get a girlfriend he’s telling jokes – the punchline followed by his catchphrase “I still got it!” – though unfortunately no-one else seems to find them funny. At one point Ralph belongs to a gang called “The Gems” and owns a hot rod car.

Charles “Chachi” Arcola (Scott Baio) – Chachi is the younger cousin of Fonzie. He always wears a bandana around his thigh and can often be heard saying, “Wa wa wa”. For Chachi, meeting Joanie is love at first sight, but sadly for him the feeling isn’t mutual. Eventually, though, his persistence is rewarded and they become a couple. His mother, Louisa Arcola (Ellen Travolta), later marries Al Delvecchio (the second owner of Arnold’s Drive-In) and Chachi becomes his stepson.

Howard Cunningham

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Mitsumo “Arnold” Takahashi (Pat Morita) – When Takahashi bought Arnold’s Restaurant, people assumed it was named after him. Not wanting the expense of replacing the sign, he decided to go with it and is now known as Arnold to almost everyone. He often moonlights as a martial arts instructor and teaches self-defense classes after closing time.

Al Delvecchio (Al Molinaro) – Al becomes the new owner of the Drive-In after Arnold gets married. Kind Al has had his heart broken, often reminiscing about his former love, Rosa Coletti, who left him for a tie salesman. He eventually finds love again with Chachi’s mother, Louisa. Whenever something isn’t going his way he’ll sigh, shake his head and say, “Yeeep, yep, yep, yep, yep” or occasionally “Chaaachi, chachi, chachi, chachi”.

Jenny Piccalo (Cathy Silvers) – Jenny is Joanie’s best friend. Although mentioned often in the early years of the show, she is not seen until the last few seasons of the series. Funny, brave and boy-crazy, she has a vivacious personality and a sunny smile.

Roger Phillips (Ted McGinley) – Marion’s nephew Roger is a teacher and coach at Jefferson High. Handsome and helpful, he is a good person and a caring teacher.

Lori Beth Allen (Lynda Goodfriend) – Lori Beth is the girl who eventually captures Richie’s heart. Pretty and uncomplicated, she immediately fits into Richie’s life and family.

Ashley Pfister (Linda Purl) – Ashley is a divorcee and mother-of-one who becomes Fonzie’s steady girlfriend.

Joanie Cunningham

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Main Cast

Character Actor
Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli Henry Winkler
Richie Cunningham Ron Howard
Howard Cunningham Tom Bosley
Marion Cunningham Marion Ross
Joanie Cunningham Erin Moran
Potsie Weber Anson Williams
Ralph Malph Don Most
Chachi Arcola Scott Baio
Mitsumo “Arnold” Takahashi Pat Morita
Al Delvecchio Al Molinaro
Jenny Piccalo Cathy Silvers
Roger Phillips Ted McGinley
Lori Beth Allen Lynda Goodfriend
Ashley Pfister Linda Purl

Happy days record and neon

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Additional Cast

Character Actor
Marsha Simms Beatrice Colen
K.C. Cunningham Crystal Bernard
Bobby Harris Kal
Girl Playing Drum Hillary Horan
Girl in Yellow Jacket Heather Warren
Tommy Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Leopold “Flip” Phillips Billy Warlock
Police Officer Kirk Ed Peck
Audience Member in Orange Kit McDonough
Heather Pfister Heather O’Rourke
Pinky Tuscadero Roz Kelly
Rocco Baruffi Ken Lerner
Eugene Belvin Denis Mandel
Chuck Cunningham Gavin O’Herlihy
Bag Zombroski Neil J. Schwartz
Trudy Tita Bell
Melvin Belvin Scott Mitchell Bernstein
Wendy Laurette Spang
Audience Member in Pink Sally Hightower
Wendy Misty Rowe
Allison Kathleen Marshall
Leather Tuscadero Suzi Quatro
Shirley Feeney Cindy Williams
Laverne DeFazio Penny Marshall
Donald Hedges David Ketchum
Johnny Suede Derrel Maury
Jennifer Jerome Lorrie Mahaffey
Vivian Susan Lawrence
Louisa Arcola Ellen Travolta
Dr. Malph Jack Dodson


Photo Courtesy of ABC


Henry Winkler (Fonzie) was a close friend of actor John Ritter for nearly 25 years and was rehearsing lines with him on the set of Simple Rules when Ritter collapsed and died. Winkler was devastated at the loss.

Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham) first became known for playing the character of Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show.

In addition to his role in Happy Days, Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham) is well known for his appearances in Murder She Wrote and The Father Dowling Mysteries.

At the age of 13, Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham) changed the spelling of her name from “Marian” to “Marion” because she thought it was classier and would look better on a marquee.

Ralph Malph

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Scott Baio (Chachi Arcola) decided he wanted to become an actor at the age of nine.

Since Happy Days ended, Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham) has acted only in occasional guest spots.

Anson Williams (Potsie Weber) is the nephew of Dr. Henry Heimlich, who created the Heimlich Maneuver.

Don Most (Ralph Malph) has been married to Morgan Hart for 32 years and they have two daughters.

Pat Morita (Arnold) is best known to the world as the wise Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid films. Although shown in the movie as a karate expert, Morita never actually took karate and learned just enough for the films.

Although for the first two seasons there are three Cunningham children, Chuck, Richie and Joanie, it is later only Richie and Joanie. The character of the older brother, Chuck, was phased out when producers realized that Fonzie was actually the ‘older brother’ the show needed.


Photo Courtesy of ABC

Al Molinaro (Al Delvecchio) is one of ten children. Two of his brothers are in politics: one of them, Joseph, was Kenosha County’s longest-serving district attorney; and another, George, was a state representative in the Wisconsin assembly.

Although Ron Howard was a great actor, he left Happy Days to focus on what would become his real love, directing. His directorial debut was the film Grand Theft Auto and he won an Academy Award for his direction of the film A Beautiful Mind.

Ted McGinley (Roger Phillips) had a role in the long-running sitcom Married with Children. He also appeared in Dynasty, Love Boat and The West Wing.

Despite being well known for playing a Catholic priest as well as many Protestants over the years, Tom Bosley was actually Jewish.

Scott Baio is well known for his roles in Happy Days, Charles in Charge and Diagnosis Murder.

Marion Ross graduated from San Diego State University, where she was named Most Outstanding Actress during her first year.


Photo Courtesy of ABC

Cathy Silvers (Jenny Piccalo) is the daughter of actor and comedian Phil Silvers.

Henry Winkler has been married to Stacy Weitzman for 36 years and they have two children together as well as a child from her previous marriage.

At one point after the series became successful, creator Garry Marshall was approached about the show being able to help children learn to read. Shortly afterwards Fonzie went to the library and checked out a book saying, “Everybody is allowed to read.” It worked: that same week, registration for library cards went up 500 per cent.

Ron Howard kept in touch with Andy Griffith until Griffith’s death.

Tom Bosley served in the United States Navy during World War II.

Don Most has done voice work on cartoons such as The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, Teen Wolf and Dungeons & Dragons.

The character of Arthur Fonzarelli was originally supposed to be named Arthur Maschiarelli (which was Garry Marshall’s real last name) and nicknamed “Mash”. But when ABC picked up the show they asked Marshall to change it because of the similarity between the name and the popular show M*A*S*H on a rival network.

happy-days gang

Photo Courtesy of ABC

In 1987 Al Molinaro and Anson Williams (Potsie) opened up a chain of diners in the Midwest area of the United States called “Big Al’s” after his character in Happy Days.

Anson Williams has been married twice and has six children.

Ted McGinley was the captain of the USC water polo team.

Lynda Goodfriend (Lori Beth Allen) is now a talent manager.

Henry Winkler is the godfather of Ron Howard’s daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard.

Ron Howard was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2013.

Marion Ross starred in movies with such big names as Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Carey Grant, Ginger Rogers, William Holden and Shirley MacLaine.


Photo Courtesy of ABC

The character of Fonzie loved riding motorcycles but Henry Winkler was terrified of them. He made one attempt at riding one on the show but ended up crashing into a sound van. From then on, shots of Fonzie riding a bike were achieved by placing the motorcycle on a platform which was then pulled by a truck.

Scott Baio had guest appearances on a number of television shows including Full House, Veronica’s Closet and Touched by an Angel.

The Theme From Happy Days peaked at number five as a hit single on the national charts in the summer of 1976.

Pat Morita started his career as a stand-up comedian and was discovered by veteran actor and comedian Redd Foxx.

Ron Howard did guest spots on shows like M*A*S*H and The Waltons.

Henry Winkler had a strained relationship with his parents, partly due to their apparent unwillingness to acknowledge his dyslexia. According to Winkler, his father would punish him for his academic problems in school and call him a “dumb dog”. Winkler was not diagnosed with dyslexia until the age of 31.


Photo Courtesy of ABC

Erin Moran came in at #71 on VH1’s 2005 list of “The 100 Greatest Kid Stars”.

Al Molinaro has now retired from acting.

Linda Purl (Ashley Pfister) has guest starred on many shows, including The Waltons, Desperate Housewives, Murder She Wrote and Hawaii Five-O.

Cathy Silvers has been married to David Fulmer for thirteen years and they have five children.

In season one of the show, Fonzie is seen wearing a windbreaker. From season two until the end of the series, he wears his trademark brown leather jacket. That jacket now hangs in the Smithsonian.

Ron Howard has been married to his wife, Cheryl, for nearly 40 years and they have four children together. All his children are named after the place where they were conceived.

Ted McGinley took actress Brooke Shields to her senior prom in 1982.

Anson Williams was the captain of his high school track team.

In 2008, a bronze statue of The Fonz was unveiled by the Milwaukee River Riverwalk in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Henry Winkler and several other cast members attended the ceremony.


Photo Courtesy of ABC

Tom Bosley turned down the role of Howard Cunningham after first reading the script for the pilot show. However, after reading it again he was moved by a particular scene between Richie and his father and decided to take the role that was to make him a household name.

As well as being an actor, producer and director Henry Winkler is also an author. He co-authored a series of twelve children’s book with Lin Oliver called Hank Zipzer, The World’s Greatest Underachiever. They are based on Winkler’s own struggle with dyslexia as a child (although he was not diagnosed until many years later) and have sold more than 2 million copies.

Pat Morita was diagnosed with spinal tuberculosis at two years old and told he would never walk. He spent most of the next nine years in hospitals.

Marion Ross was once married to Freeman Meskiman, with whom she had a son and a daughter.

Ron Howard cast his parents in the movie Apollo Thirteen as well as giving a cameo role to his daughter, Bryce.

Erin Moran had to be evicted from her foreclosed Palmdale, California home in 2010.

Scott Baio married his girlfriend, Renee Sloan, in 2007. In November of that same year, they had a baby girl who was born five weeks premature. Initially one of twins, Renee had sadly lost the other baby at only 11 weeks gestation. Soon after her birth the baby girl, Bailey, tested false positive for a rare metabolic disorder. As a result, Baio and his family started the Bailey Baio Angel Foundation to help provide financial support to families who have to deal with metabolic disorders.

In the series’ final episode, Tom Bosley stepped out of character, turned to the cameras and thanked the viewers for being a part of the Cunningham family for the many years the show had been on the air.

When songs were heard playing from the jukebox it was more often than not the voice of Anson Williams.

Happy days 3

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Ron Howard lives on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

Anson Williams’ first wife, Lorrie Mahaffey, played Potsie’s girlfriend Jennifer in Happy Days in some of the later seasons.

Ted McGinley began his career as a model and won his part in Happy Days after a casting director saw a picture of him in the magazine GQ.

Henry Winkler and his wife, Stacy, co-founded the Children’s Action Network in 1990. The Network provides free immunizations to over 200,000 children.

Pat Morita was the first American-born Asian to be nominated for an Academy Award.

When Ron Howard was first offered the chance to play Richie Cunningham, he passed. His reasoning was that he didn’t want to “be a teenager the rest of my life” on television. Howard changed his mind when Garry Marshall promised him that if the series was picked up, Richie and his friends would finish high school and become adults.

One of the more popular of the show’s lines was “Sit on it!” It was #8 in TV Guide’s list of “TV’s 20 Top Catchphrases”.

Henry Winkler insisted that showing Fonzie comb his hair would make him look like a hoodlum but the network however disagreed. Instead, Winkler came up with the gag where Fonzie prepares to comb his hair, looks in the mirror and shrugs before replacing the comb in his pocket (the implication being that he already looks good and doesn’t need to do it). This got a big laugh and became a Fonzie trademark. Later in the series, Fonzie shows Richie his comb and says, “Do you know, I have had this comb for nine years, and it has never once touched my hair.”

Marion Ross’s daughter, Ellen Plummer, was a writer/producer on the popular sitcom Friends.

Ron Howard directed screen legend Bette Davis in the television movie Skyward in 1980. He said of the experience, “She didn’t much like that there was this 25-year-old from a sitcom that was directing her. I was talking to her on the phone and I said, ‘Well, Miss Davis, I’ll protect you as the director and make sure you’re prepared and that your performance will not suffer’, and she said, ‘I disagree, Mr. Howard’. I said, ‘Miss Davis, just call me Ron’, and she said, ‘No, I will call you Mr. Howard until I decide whether I like you or not’. And then (on the set) I gave her a note. And she tried it, and it worked for her. She said, ‘You’re right, that works much better. Let’s shoot’. And at the end of the whole thing, I said, ‘Well, Miss Davis, great first day. I’ll see you tomorrow’. She said, ‘Okay, Ron, see you tomorrow’ and she patted me on the ass.”

Linda Purl does work for several charities including AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Haven House.


Photo Courtesy of ABC

Scott Baio is a registered Republican and was one of the “famous guests” who attended during the historical ceremonies of President Ronald Reagan’s televised state funeral. In an article about the funeral in The New York Daily News former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was quoted as saying, “Scott Baio who played Chachi on the hit sitcom Happy Days said: ‘President Reagan made me feel proud to be an American. Today I feel sadness.'”

Al Molinaro has been married twice and has one son.

At one point during the show’s run, a call came through from Paramount Studios from a teenaged boy who was thinking of committing suicide and wanted to talk to Fonzie. Henry Winkler took the phone call, gave the boy a pep-talk and convinced him to give things another try.

Happy Days is ABC’s second-longest running sitcom, second only to The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, which ran for fourteen seasons.

At Pat Morita’s funeral procession, Ralph Macchio, his former co-star in the Karate Kid films, quoted “Forever, my Sensei” towards the mourners.

A quote from Tom Bosley about Happy Days: “Happy Days was about a family… although the show was shot in the 70’s, it was about a family in the 50’s. I realized that kids were watching their parents grow up and the parents were watching themselves grow up. That was the key to the success of our show.”

Cathy Silvers is a twin. Her sister Candace appeared alongside her in an episode of Happy Days.

Since Happy Days ended Anson Williams has become a director and producer, although he does still act occasionally.

The term “jump the shark” originated with the Happy Days series and Ted McGinley is commonly referred to as “the patron saint of shark jumping”. Although a good actor, he has had the misfortune to be repeatedly cast just at the point a show is starting to decline.

Ron Howard met producer Brian Grazer in 1981, and the two worked on the films Night Shift (starring Henry Winkler) and Splash in the next few years. In 1986, Howard and Grazer co-founded Imagine Films Entertainment which went on to make such amazing films as Backdraft, Parenthood, Apollo 13, 8 Mile, For Love or Money and Far and Away.

In 2004, two decades after the first Arnold’s Drive-In was destroyed, the set was re-built for the Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion.

Henry Winkler was approached to play the character of Danny Zuko in the famous movie Grease. He turned it down for fear of being typecast after his decade long stint as Fonzie.

Ron Howard ranked at #7 on VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Kid Stars”.

Happy Days Guess Who's Coming To Christmas5

Photo Courtesy of ABC

The series finished its fourth season at #1 in the Nielsen ratings, ending the record-breaking five-year reign of the television series All in the Family.

Marion Ross provides the voice of Grandma SquarePants in the popular cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants.

Pat Morita and his family were placed in an internment camp during World War II.

Tom Bosley won a Tony Award for his role as Fiorello H. La Guardia in the long-running Broadway musical Fiorello!

In 2011, five of the show’s cast members filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against CBS, claiming that they had not been paid for merchandising revenues owed to them. The five (Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Don Most, Erin Moran and the estate of the late Tom Bosley) settled out of court for $65,000 apiece as well as a promise that CBS would continue to honor the terms of their contracts.

Scott Baio ranked #18 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Teen Stars”.

Don Most attended Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.

In 2011, Henry Winkler received an Order of the British Empire award from Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his work with British children facing challenges in learning. He did this through his My Way! Campaign.

The Happy Days series has spawned a total of seven spin-off shows: Joanie Loves Chachi, Laverne & Shirley, Blansky’s Beauties, Mork & Mindy, Out of the Blue, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang (animated) and Laverne & Shirley with Special Guest Star the Fonz (animated).

Ted McGinley has been married for 23 years to actress Gigi Rice and has two sons.

Happy Days’ use of the song Rock Around the Clock made it so popular that it made it to #39 in the pop charts in 1974, nineteen years after it originally reached #1.

Ron Howard has directed two of the American Film Institute’s list of “100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time”: A Beautiful Mind was #93 and Apollo 13 was #12.

Marion Ross lived with her companion, actor Paul Michael, until his death in July 2011.

Tom Bosley shared a profound story of his experience during the Holocaust in a documentary entitled Paper Clips.

Anson Williams is the founder of the cosmetics company Starmaker Products.

Happy Days2

Photo Courtesy of ABC

Henry Winkler is a committed Democrat and has supported various liberal causes and presidential campaigns.

Al Molinaro had a role on the hit show The Odd Couple as Officer Murray Greshler.

Pat Morita was a big fan of the Green Bay Packers football team.

Both Scott Baio and Anson Williams received record deals as a result of their musical turns in the series.

Linda Purl has been married four times. Her first husband was Desi Arnaz, Jr. son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, stars of the famous series I Love Lucy.

Howard Cunningham ranked #9 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All-Time”.

This post first appeared on Ended TV Series, please read the originial post: here

Subscribe to Ended Tv Series

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription