In the late 1970s, the classic television show Happy days has been on the air a few years already. The show was a huge success and star Henry Winkler skyrocketed from an occasional actor on the series to a household name.
For the rest of the team, the change in dinamics was not so pleasant.
Ron Howard once said that ‘Happy Days’ felt like a boy band
At the heart of Happy days from the first time actress Ron Howard played the main character of teenager Richie Cunningham. The exhibition, set up in the Milwaukee 1950s, revolved around Richie, his friends and family.
The show went well and enjoyed moderately well until Henry Winkler and his character, Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, apparently became famous overnight.
Howard told the American Television Archive in 2006 his main complaint with the series’ producers was his move to change the show’s name to Happy Fonzie days. Eventually, the name of the show remained Happy days once Howard expressed his complaint.
“The show moved on [toward Fonzie] and I kept large parts of it, ”he said. “The amazing thing is, it was a wonderful ensemble, we always treated it as an ensemble.”
Marion Ross said Ron Howard was upset with Fonzie’s reputation
In her memory, My days: happy and otherwise, actor Marion Ross played by Richie ‘s mother Marion Cunningham recalled a bittersweet experience of Winkler’ s sudden fame. The show’s actors benefited, but at the same time, they felt like anonymous actors in the shadow of the Fonzie star.
“Having risen to the start of the show was Henry, it made the rest of us feel like we were supporting players,” she wrote.
Ross mentioned Howard visiting her dressing room and the dismay that was clear on her face.
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“I will never forget the day, although the show sat firmly in number one in the rankings, Ron Howard sadly entered my dressing room and moved into chair, ”wrote Ross.
The actor finally found out from her son on screen that he felt “too much pressure on Fonzie. ”
“It’s just about the Fonz,” he told Ross. “Every bad day is this Fonz and that Fonz. There are other people involved in this show than him, you know! ”
Ross noted Howard ‘s feelings about Fonzie’ s character and not Winkler ‘s, which she said “never worked like he was the star or better than anyone other. ”
Howard and Winkler are still good friends
Howard continued his interview by saying, “Henry Winkler and I were like brothers and he was a bit like a big brother to me in many ways. We worked well together, and [Happy Days] it became a real hit. ”
Winkler agreed for his part with Howard, telling the American Television Archive in 2006, “[Howard] my brother is today. [Winkler’s wife Stacy] and I am the goddess of the children.
“[Howard] he said, ‘God forbid, if anything should happen [Howard’s wife Sheryl] and for me, take them. You can block them if you want. Take them. ”