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Happy Days - The Complete First Season

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Happy Days - The Second Season

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Happy Days - The Sixth Season

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Old 06-13-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Happy Days' Marion Ross: 'I'm My Favorite TV Mom!'

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For 11 seasons, Marion Ross warmed her way into audiences’ hearts as Marion “Mrs. C.” Cunningham — the TV mom everyone wanted — on the iconic sitcom Happy Days.

Now, almost 30 years since the show’s finale, Ross is still feeling the love from fans across the world.

“I just got back from a cruise and there were thousands of people on the ship, and I was treated with such love and consideration,” she tells PARADE. “Everybody is so good to me. It’s a very nice blessing. It should happen to all of us.”

At 84, Ross is showing no signs of slowing down. In recent years, she’s appeared on Nurse Jackie, Grey’s Anatomy, and Brothers & Sister, and tonight, she has a guest-starring role as Brick Heck’s vice-principal on the season finale of ABC’s The Middle.

The television icon talked to PARADE about her role on the show, her favorite TV mom of all time, and more.

On going for laughs on The Middle.

“The Middle is a wonderful show. The whole episode is about graduation, and it’s really such a milestone. You’ve got Axl graduating high school, Sue trying to finally get her license, and then little Brick trying to get out of the sixth grade. What kind of name is Brick Heck?! That little boy, Atticus Shaffer, what a wonderful actor. All my scenes were with him. He’s a real talent and so professional. We had an awful lot of fun working together.

“At first, you think I’m this lovely, warm vice-principal, but then I turn into this hellion because the children are always disappointing me. It was a wonderful role, and it was fun for me to be so mean to Brick because I’m really such a sweet person. I don’t want to give away the plot, but they’ll be in for a surprise. I may come back again next year to bother Brick!”

On relating to the quirky small screen family.

“If you’re in that age group — which I’m passed, thank God! — then this episode will really hit home. I’ve done it all. I’ve raised those children. It’s a heck of a period and to portray it as something so funny is incredible because it ain’t funny when you’re going through it!”

On her all-time favorite TV mom.

“Well, I’m my favorite TV mom! But I’m very good friends with all the TV moms. Florence Henderson [The Brady Bunch] and Shirley Jones [The Partridge Family], it goes on and on. We’re all pals.”

Remembering Happy Days.

“Happy Days was such a joyous time for all of us. We were like kids at play, and that’s what I sensed on the set of The Middle. Such a joyous cast — and everyone is having the time of their lives.

On switching between being a mom on TV and a mom at home.


“It was very good arrangement because I would rehearse what I was going to have to deal with at home. My kids were just about two years younger than Ron [Howard] and Erin [Moran], so I would get to things a little earlier and have it all worked out on Happy Days. I learned how to get through a parenting crisis with warm, loving humor, and I would talk to little Erin Moran and that would help me deal with my own daughter at home. It was a perfect job for a perfect time in my life.”
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