‘Happy Days’: Potsie Actor Anson Williams Married On-Screen Girlfriend After Starring Together on Sitcom

by Madison Miller

From getting “pinned” to getting the perfect ending, there was something the actors Anson Williams and Lorrie Mahaffey shared with their characters on the screen. Anson Williams played Potsie on the classic 1970s sitcoms, “Happy Days.” Lorrie Mahaffey played his girlfriend, Jennifer.

From ‘Happy Days’ to Married Days

The episode was called “Potsie Gets Pinned.” It aired on January 10, 1978. The two characters are gazing at each other adoringly, hands touching, and a teddy bear chilling in the middle. After they both nervously talk about how often they’ve been seeing each other, Potsie pops the question.

Or, rather, he exclaims, “Let’s get pinned!” This is referencing a mid-twentieth century tradition where a girl gives her fraternity pin to the other person the symbolize the start of a serious and committed relationship.

This was one of the most “serious” moments of their relationship on the screen. Meanwhile, the two actors portraying them were madly in love in real life and soon got married. According to MeTV, the pair had been together for 18 months when this episode on “Happy Days” was filmed.

Williams had met Mahaffey while she was performing at Opryland in Nashville. She actually introduced herself to him before a rehearsal. The two shared a certain connection due to a mutual love for country music. Williams had also opened for one of the most legendary country artists, Tanya Tucker, in 1976.

Anson Williams and Lorrie Mahaffey

The two actors even got a shoutout in People in 1978. The publication did a feature on their real-life marriage. The two had shared that a part of their bond came from mutual respect. Mahaffey said, “If a man asked me to give up my career, he couldn’t love me.”

Mahaffey had moved to L.A. to be near him. She had played a variety of performances at the Holiday Inn with a rock band to get some money. “Happy Days” executives went to see her at a performance at an airport, due to Williams’ suggestion. This is how she would soon end up on the show six months later.

While they had a picture-perfect, swoon-worthy appearance on the show, naturally, they would sometimes bicker as a couple. “I’m real Jewish about it. Yell! Scream! Get it out and then make up. We’ve argued in some strange places because I forget there are people around … I was so used to doing my thing that it took time to get used to a 50-50 relationship,” Williams said.

Their performance of love, although not much acting was involved, led to quite a few fan letters. One fan wrote, “You acted like you really cared about him.” Mahaffey didn’t have to act for that to come across.

After the show, the married couple got their own special called “Anson ‘n’ Lorrie.” The two would invite sitcom stars like Ron Howard, Gary Coleman, and others onto the show. They got that special in 1981. Unfortunately, the couple did end up getting divorced eight years into their marriage in 1986.