“Happy Days” star Cathy Silvers starred as boy-crazed teen Jenny Piccolo in the series. The performer’s love for acting seems to be genetic, stemming from her father’s side of the family. Cathy’s dad, Phil Silvers, was a successful comedic actor, known as “The King of Chutzpah.” His career as an entertainer spanned almost sixty years. In a chat with Express, the actress opened up about what it was like to grow up with a famous father. Additionally, the actress shared an especially heart-warming story of a time her father surprised her on set of “Happy Days.”
“It was a truly wonderful time in my life, working with the best people on a great show in a magical setting,” Silvers said of her time on “Happy Days.” “We filmed on Stage 19 at Paramount and you could see directly across to the Hollywood sign.”
The actress recalled how back then, scripts were hand-delivered to actors and actresses. There was one day where Silvers’ decided not to read her script, knowing that the cast would go over it at a Monday morning read-through. What she didn’t know, however, was who had been cast as Jenny Piccolo’s father. In a moment that Silvers refers to as the “most special memory” she has of her Dad, her real-life father made a completely unexpected appearance.
The Moment When Cathy Silvers Dad Gave Her a Huge Shock
“At the read-through, I heard this, ‘Ay ay ay up’ – dad’s line from Sgt Bilko – and I thought, ‘Someone doing’s Dad.’ Then Dad walked on the stage and everyone stopped still,” she described. “The writers were on their knees – he was their idol. It was wonderful and they had it all planned as a surprise for me!”
Silvers said of the experience, “I don’t know how many actresses can say, ‘My dad, who was the greatest comedian ever to have lived, played my dad, in the greatest comedy show next to his show.’”
The love and bond between Cathy Silvers and her father is clear, but that doesn’t mean having a famous father didn’t bring some unique challenges. Despite the fact that “The Phil Silvers Show” ended three years before Cathy and her twin Candace were born, they were very aware of their father’s impact. The actress remembers going out with her father for dinner, and he would be “mobbed.”
The ‘Happy Days’ Star Dined With the Greats
“We tried to go to special places where we knew we could be a little private, but all his friends were there: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis or Frank Sinatra, so we would often have dinner with them. Everyone would pour in and I would hear these phenomenal stories,” Silvers shared.
Cathy Silvers remembers that her mother and father divorced when she was five years old, but she still saw her Dad for dinner every week. When she got into show business, he was there to give her some fatherly advice. “His best friends were Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn and he saw the effect the business took on their lives,” Silvers reflected. “His advice to me was, ‘Treat it as a business. Don’t let it go to your head. Learn your lines and turn up on time!’”