Where are Happy Days stars now – from career U-turn to lengthy legal battle

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Henry Winkler is still scooping acting gongs at the age of 76 – nearly 50 years after he made his name as The Fonz in Happy Days.

As we reported yesterday, the star won a best supporting actor statue at the Hollywood Critics Association TV awards for his turn in black comedy crime drama Barry.

He will forever be remembered as the cool Fonzie in Happy Days, which ran from 1974 to 1984 and followed the adventures of teenager Richie Cunningham in 1950s Milwaukee. It became a huge hit here on ITV.

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But what have Winkler and the other stars of Happy Days been up to since? Daily Star takes a look…

Ron Howard – Richie Cunningham

Richie was the show’s lead for the first seven years until his directing career started taking off and he was written out via Richie joining the US Army.

Now 68, he’s directed some of Hollywood’s biggest films from Splash, Cocoon and Willow in his early days to Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code and Solo: A Star Wars Story.

He nabbed an Oscar for 2001’s A Beautiful Mind while his most recent film, Thirteen Lives, about the rescue of the young Thai football team from caves in currently on Amazon.

Howard married his childhood sweetheart Cheryl in 1975 and they have four children, including daughter Bryce Dallas Howard who is an actress, starring in the Jurassic World series.

Henry Winkler – Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli

Initially a minor character, proved so popular with audiences he got bumped up to be a main lead.

Ever wondered where the phrase “jumping the shark” for when something goes downhill after reaching its peak?

It comes from a Happy Days episode in which Fonzie jumps over a shark while on water-skis.

Winkler has gone to have a successful film career, appearing in Scream and The Waterboy, winning a clutch of awards along the way.

A dyslexic, he became a children’s author when he drew upon his childhood struggles to co-write the Hank Zipzer books and was given an OBE in 2011 for his effort.

Married to Stacey since 1978, the pair have three children.

Marion Ross – Marion Cunningham

The Happy Days matriarch joined The Love Boat after the series ended and carried on working in TV, including becoming a voice actress on SpongeBob SquarePants.

In 2018, Ross announced she was retiring from acting. Now 93, she’s been married and divorced twice.

She also spearheaded a 2011 lawsuit taken out by several of the show’s stars against Happy Days owners CBS claiming they had not been paid for merchandising revenue owed under their contracts.

The lawsuit was sparked after Ross was informed, by a friend playing slots at a casino, of a Happy Days-themed machine on which players win the jackpot when five Marion Rosses are rolled.

The group settled the case in 2012.

Donny Most – Ralph Malph

Practical joker Ralph was obsessed with girls and pranks.

Now 68, Most had a number of minor roles in TV shows such as CHiPs, Baywatch and Glee.

He’s also a successful singer with a new swing music album on the way.

Anson Williams – Potsie Weber

Williams was Richie’s gullible pal and even received a Golden Globe nomination for his turn.

Since then he’s become a well-known TV director of series such as Melrose Place, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Beverly Hills 90210.

In 1987, he opened a chain of diners called Big Al’s with fellow Happy Days cast member Al Molinaro but they went out of business. Last month the 72-year-old announced he’s running to be a mayor of a city in California.

Erin Moran – Joanie Cunningham

Richie’s younger sister, Moran went on to star in spin-off Joanie Love Chachi between 1982 and 1983 following her romance with her Happy Days love interest.

She had a handful of acting credits beyond Happy Days, but suffered from depression and fell on hard times, living in a trailer park. In 2017 she was found dead aged 56.

The cause of death was complications from throat cancer and it emerged the twice-married star had been secretly fighting the disease.

Scott Baio – Chachi Arcola

Joanie’s love interest, he went on to star opposite Moran in Joanie Loves Chachi and later played Dr Jack Stewart in Diagnosis Murder.

He had two reality shows in the Noughties, following life in his 40s.

A Republican, he endorsed Donald Trump’s run for US president and claimed to have been shunned by entertainment bosses for his views.

In 2007 Baio, 61, wed wife Renee, who he met at the Playboy Mansion

Tom Bosley – Howard Cunningham

After playing Richie’s dad, he went on to have a recurring role in Murder, She Wrote and also played the title character in The Father Dowling Mysteries.

One of his final roles was in Jennifer Lopez film The Back Up Plan. He died from an infection in 2010 aged 83 after battling lung cancer.

Al Molinaro – Al Delvecchio

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Molinaro got into acting after a career as an estate agent and landed the role of the kindly diner owner.

He only had one major TV role post-Happy Days but continued appearing in commercials for the rest of his life. He died in 2015 aged 96.


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