Happy Days: Fans Remember

Fans Remember

This is a section that contains stories of any fans memories of the show, real-life encounters with any of the cast members, etc. If you have ever eaten at the same restaurant as Erin Moran, been in the same checkout line at the supermarket as Anson Williams, or attended the same high school as Donny Most, I want to hear about it. Please e-mail

From Michael Siana (sent in 08/09/02):

This was on a plane.

I was coming back from LA to Newark in April 1992 (maybe March?) from visiting my friend who lived in Redondo Beach. I got upgraded to first class because of mileage.

There are two seats on the one side and in the window seat was Marion Ross. I realized who she was right away but played it cool, the last thing she would want I thought was to sit next to a guy for 5 1/2 hours who asked a million questions.

So I say hi and sit down in the aisle seat and our flight attendant is fawning over her (he was a little, uh, animated). He keeps calling her Miss Ross and yet I still don't acknowledge that she is Mrs. C.

But she seemed to like this. She asked me about myself and asked me how to operate the built in tv screens (trust me, first time I ever used it too) and I helped her. She drank red wine and I drank nothing because of all the damage I did in Redondo.

A couple people come up for autographs and at this point I tell her I know who she is but didnt want to bother her. And she couldnt have been more nice. I mean really.

I tell her I grew up with Happy Days and I ask her about many things including an outtake where Henry Winker started kissing her. She loved that. And she was so happy for everybody in the cast, especially proud of Ron Howard. And then she gave a little pause about Erin Moran. Saying she felt bad bout her troubles (this was '92 ) and hoped she would be ok.

It gets pretty weird after this. She asked me what I was doing and if I was an actor and I said no I worked in the travel business but if she had a job for me I'd act. No such luck. She told me she was on her way to see a play that Garry Marshall had written or directed for Broadway (don't remember the title).

So at this point a flight attendent comes up and says, "Miss Ross, a friend of yours is here" and no joke Tom Bosley walks up and starts talking to her. Behind Tom is Bud (can't remember his last name) a writer I think for Happy Days. She introduces me to both of them and after a minute Bud leaves.

So it turns out that Tom is in the second section of first class (747 mind you) so they had no idea either is on the plane. And they are both going to see Garry's show.

So now she is standing up, I'm in the aisle seat and Tom is in the aisle next to me. I am in the middle of a Mr. and Mrs. C. sandwich. I offer him my seat, but he refuses and they just talk and i just sit there in utter amazement. I can't believe I am sober.

So after he says goodbye (very polite and nice guy) she turns to me and says, "I bet that was pretty weird for you". And I say very calmly, "yes, i just saw my childhood flash before my eyes".

And we talked and so on. She gave me her card for some reason (I think I know where it is) and I gave her mine. I don't know why she gave me her card, with her phone number no less, but I never called or wrote. Not that she asked me to either (or would want that).

But I got off the plane, went home and told everbody I knew.
And that's that.

From Lisa (sent in 08/06/02):

Well, i was'nt in the same super market with him, but in 1984-1985, Marion Ross and Anson Williams did a uso tour while i was living in Madrid Spain, I took a picture of Anson buy himself, and a friend and i had our picture taken with Marion Ross. I did not get to talk with Anson Williams, but i did get to talk to Marion Ross for a few minutes.

From Aimee La Fountain (sent in 07/25/02):

Hello! How are you? I had the true pleasure of meeting henry Winkler twice while he was starring in "The Dinner Party" on Broadway. Let me tell you, he came back thriving in his home city! He was charming from beguinning to end of the visit. He exited the stage door shortly after the play's completion and opened the door to find a crowd of people and acted surprised. He is one of those rare grounded theatre performers, oen of the few gracious entertainers. He wooed the ladies there with his kind words and estures, and gained the respect of every man there, shaking their hands. I can't begin to tell you how sweet the man was. It was cold on the night I saw him and as soon as he came out he said that he had his own marker in preparation because oftem times teh pens dry out in cold weather! How thoughtful! He thought nothing of standing out there and attending to the needs of every fan, including caressing the cheek of a more aged woman that delared "Hey, you're Hen! ry Winkler!" in passing...

He is by far the most curteous actor I have ever met, he was willing to have a rather lengthy conversation with myself and other fans, and even gave me a hug. He is very patient person and very gracious. I told him that Ienjoyed the play and that he was marvelous and he modestly replied "really? Thank you very much!". He asked me abut myself and presents himslef as a very caring man. He's a very down to Earth guy that really aims to please people. I'm sure he must have been quite exhausted but he pleasantly posed for photo of everyone that asked. He has earned all good fortune that comes his way. Like a true gentlemen, he approached his car, waved to the people, suggested they excape from the cold and wished us all a good night. I am proud to say that i didn't just attend on a "good night" because the second time I saw him in the city he was every bit as marvelous as the time before! He defines the word star and I will never forget the impact that his generosity had on me. Thanks for reading! :o)

From John in New York:

"I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Henry Winkler on the Paramount Pictures studio lot last year. He was as gracious as ever. I just stopped him to say "Thank you, for all the great joy you've given me as a kid watching Happy Days." He spoke with me for a bit and then went his way. I told him I still have the Fonz Mego doll from the 70's...he laughed! It was a great experience as he was very moved. I am a filmmaker here in NYC, and now have an offer out to him to appear in my film...keep your fingers crossed for me!! It would be a major honor.."

From Robyn {Martin} Pruett:

"I used to date Donny Most years ago. He used to live in a hill top community in Malibu. Last time I saw him, his father was really sick. Yet, that was years ago. He is/was a really nice guy. However...the guy couldn't tell a joke unless it was written for him. (Far to serious a person)"

From Heather Hodson who tells about her experience at the final episode taping back on November 11, 1983:

"A friend of my mother's was at the house and observed me sit in front of the tv set and watch 3 episodes of Happy Days in a row and asked if I liked the show. To which my Mother replied she is obsessed with Scott Baio. He said he would send tickets it took a year and thank goodness it did because through Tom Bosley we got tickets for what I hadn't realized was the last show. I walked in and wondered who was getting married since in November, Joanie and Chachi were still broke up on tv. I also was very surprised when Tom Bosley looked at the audience and thanked us for being a part of his family because that was the first I had heard of the show ending. The cast members were very nice. Scott actually blocked the door during Erin's intro and wouldn't let her off the stage, you could hear her whisper "Scott open the door". My mother made me walk up to Scott, he signed my ticket envelope, smiled, and said something and I couldn't speak a word until Henry Winkler, who was extremely nice, asked if I had enjoyed the show and I looked him in the face and said I just met Scott Baio! Not one of my finer moments. Erin Moran ran off sobbing so I never met her. Tom Bosley asked if we were going to the wrap party, we didn't. My mother also took a very nice picture with Scott and some man. Scott looked at her blinded by the flash and said jokingly thats illegal. I also took pictures of the group during the final bows, I know who everyone is but they aren't great pictures. Before the taping, they played Scott Baio's records. I have both, although I must admit now Erin was the one with the voice. I met Scott one other time at a taping of Charles in Charge. He signed the two records and again I wasn't able to speak."

Thanks to Heather for sharing her story!

From Alma Lopez:

"During my junior year (I believe it was) at Whittier High School in Whittier, CA, Scott Baio came to my school to film an ABC Afterschool Special which was being produced (perhaps directed?) by Henry Winkler. This would be about 1981. I remember all these girls following Scott around on the campus because they would film some scenes during school hours. In fact, on my way to (or from) a class, he passed right by me and I wasn't even aware of it till immediately after. After filming the special (some classmates of mine were used in the show as extras...in fact, I remember we were let out of our last period classes early so we could be home on time to watch our school on the show. we had a special assembly where Henry Winkler came to thank us for our cooperation in filming the show. I remember he fielded questions from the students and there's a pic somewhere in my annual I believe of a girl going up on stage and giving him a kiss on the cheek. She had asked if she could and he said yes. Henry was really very nice and it was such a nice surprise for him to actually come to our school to be in an assembly of ours. BTW, our school was the one in "Back to the Future" so you get an idea of what it looked like. I would like to ask anybody out there if they recall the name of this ABC Afterschool special. Believe it or not, I don't remember the name and can't find any info on it on the internet!"

  • Note: It was called "Run Don't Walk."

    Toni Kalem, best known to contemporary audiences for her role as Angie Bompensiero on The Sopranos, stars in this ABC Afterschool Special as the teenaged victim of a crippling accident. Helping the girl overcome her handicap -- and her resentment over her situation -- are a concerned teacher (Dee Wallace) and a rebellious wheelchair-bound high schooler (Scott Baio). The story reaches an exhilarating climax as the two teens lobby to establish special bathroom facilities in their school -- and to participate in an annual six-mile race, which traditionally does not welcome or accommodate handicapped people. ~ All Movie Guide

    From Keith Turner on the Happy Days mailing list:

    "Actually, I was seven years old, my father and I had to pick someone up from the local airport (well, it ain't all that local, it's in Boston, we're twenty minutes away) and I saw a very familiar face in one of the crowds leaving terminals from a plane. I asked my Dad, "Isn't that Joanie from Happy Days?" He said he doubted it, "I don't think she'd be around here". I was very shy and didn't want her to know I was staring (even though she probably had no clue I was even looking at her.) Now, this was right at the time when I had a huge crush on her, so her face was implanted in my memory. "I think that's her, Dad." "It's not her." he said "Now, helm me look for..." I can't even remember the name of the person we were picking up anymore. So, while he looked, I snuck over to the baggage claim area, (I was shy, but determined) stood next to her (I hoped it was her or I was about to be really embarrassed) and asked "Are you Joanie?" She turned and said "Yes, I am". My mouth dropped, my eyes bugged out, and my whole body began to shake. (My hands are shaking right now just remembering this). Like a little idiot, all I could to think to say was, "I love you." She smiled and said "Thank you." Then she bent over and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Of course, my face turned bright red. She asked "Are you with someone?" I said "Yeah, I'm with my dad." Then I looked and saw him coming towards us and figured I was dead. He said to Erin, "Sorry, I hope he didn't bother you." She said "Not at all, he's a good little boy." She patted me on the head and said goodbye. We said goodbye and walked away. That was it."

    From Keith Turner on the Happy Days mailing list:

    "Y'all ain't gonna believe this one!  I'm at work today and a guy from one of our other stores pops in and gets into a conversation with us. Somehow, the subject turned to Happy Days and the guy said (now, this is an older gentleman) "Oh, yeah. I went to school with Henry.  Haven't seen him in a while, though." You should have seen my mouth drop! Just to verify the statement, I asked "Where did you go to school with him?"  and he responded "Emerson". I think I actually made that high-pitched sound Ralph Malph makes. He then told us a story you're all gonna find interesting:

    The reason he left Emerson and went to Yale for his Masters degree was because he was very upset that he didn't get a part in a play that he wanted very badly. He wanted to play a leprichan (I have no idea if I spelled that right) in the year's big play.  Everyone who saw him audition, myself included, thought he was excellent and a shoe-in for the part. But, they gave it to a freshman who, most thought, wasn't nearly as good as Henry. He's never forgotten that, though.

    I asked "Would he remember you?" and he answered "I think so. It has been quite a while. He's more likely to remember my wife.  They were in the same acting class together." Can you believe that?!  What's that line from Casablanca "Of all the places in all the world...

    From Keith Turner on the Happy Days mailing list:

    "Actually, it's funny, I know a guy who met Ron Howard. He (the guy I know) was at a movie theater, and something was wrong with the film. All of a sudden, he sees (just barely, given movie theater lighting) a guy with red hair and wearing a baseball cap walk out of the theater. The friend he was there with said "Oh my God! That's Ron Howard!" and the guy said "Shut up! That was NOT Ron Howard!" a few minutes later, the film was fixed, and the man with the red hair and baseball cap walked back down the isle. The guys friend repeated "I'm telling you, that was Ron Howard!" and the guy answered "Will you stop! You're making an idiot of yourself! What the hell would Ron Howard be doing here on the east coast, let alone in a crappy theater like this?! Now just watch the movie."

    The film started having trouble again, and the man left the theater again. The guy's friend started tapping him on the arm and the guy said "Do not even start that again, or swear to God, I will pound you right here and now!" The red haired man walked back down the isle again. The film was fine from then on. When the lights came on, the red haired man in the baseball cap stood up, and to the guy's surprise, it actually WAS Ron Howard! His friend started hopping over entire rows of seats to go meet him. He and the guy got to talk to Ron for a few minutes. When the guy told me this story, I said "You met Richie?" and he answered "Yup, I met Opie." We argued that one back and forth for about half an hour.

    I have no idea if the story was true, but the guy had no reason to lie to me, so......"

    From Shaun:

    "Here in Minnesota, there was a parade called the Torchlight parade.  In the parade, was Marion Ross.  She had her own float.  On it, there was the logo of "happy days" really big on the back.  The "sunday monday happy days......" theme song played.  Marion Ross was on the float with a man in which I am not aware of who it is.  Also on the float, there was a man dressed in a leather jacket and sun glasses, which was supposed to be Fonzie, but not anything close to looking like him.  There were girls in Poodle skirts all around too. It was pretty cool.    Marion Ross was really nice.  She turned different ways every, about, ten seconds and waved.  Just by how she was acting, I knew she was a really really very nice person."

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