‘Happy Days’ Star Marion Ross Once Spoke About the ‘Professional Pecking Order’ in Hollywood

by Samantha Whidden

She has more than 60 years of experience in the acting industry, so it’s no surprise that “Happy Days” star Marion Ross has an insight into the professional pecking order in Hollywood. 

As she spoke to Smashing Interviews in 2018, Marion Ross described Hollywood as a power game and the “powerful people” run everything. “So you can get in the position to get some power, and ‘Happy Days’ did this for me. Otherwise, you’re just one of the thousands and thousands and thousands of actors. If you look up Screen Actors Guild and how many members there are, I would be curious myself today now to see how many members there are in SAG. A lot.

Marion Ross then spoke about how powerful men in the 1950s were not interested in hearing the opinions of women. “My agent said to me, ‘Don’t be going around on the set. Don’t be visiting the set by yourself on the lot at Paramount. That’s dangerous.’ In fact, I remember sitting once and two men were near me. A girl walked by and said, ‘Hello,’ to these guys. One of them said to the other, ‘I know her.’ The other one said, “Oh, yeah? I know her, too.”

In response to those comments, the “Happy Days” actress said she didn’t want anyone to ever think that way about her. “ The same happens in the business world, too. That’s what’s so fun about now with all the young actresses standing up for their rights. It’s wonderful. It’s a new movement.”

‘Happy Days’ Actress Marion Ross Speaks About Those Involved in the #MeToo Movement

Meanwhile, Marion Ross spoke about the #MeToo movement. “Because in the old days that’s how you got ahead in the business,” Ross said about the sexual harassment that actors experienced in Hollywood. “You made a few gentleman friends there. Early on in my career, a man said, ‘I want to help you. How do you think you’re going to get ahead in this business?’ I said, ‘Well, I’m a really good actress.’ He said, ‘Well, that’s kind of hard.’ I realized what he was talking about.”

In response to that comment, Ross, who is from Minnesota, told the guy the off and punched his shoulder. “[I told him], ‘I can’t do things like that!’ It’s a wonder what that I made it, isn’t it? It’s a wonder that I survived.”

In regards to working with Ginger Rogers and William Holder on her film debut “Forever Female,” Ross added, “It was interesting. The director, Irving Rapper, must have been intrigued with this young actress. I was like 23 or so. He thought I looked like Greer Garson, so he’d say, ‘Miss Garson! What do you think about that?’ I had a very small part in the movie. I was a college graduate, so I would have opinions (laughs). It took me quite a while to realize he was making fun of me, you know.”