‘Happy Days’: Potsie Actor Anson Williams Said Battling Cancer Was ‘Wake Up Call I Needed’

by Keeli Parkey

Whether you are an everyday person or an actor on one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, a cancer diagnosis can shake you to your core. This was true for the man who brought Potsie Weber to life on “Happy Days.”

That man, of course, is actor Anson Williams. And, according to an interview he gave with Closer Weekly in 2017, he had been diagnosed with Stage 2 colon cancer in December 2016. That’s a scary diagnosis, indeed. And, the actor said, having cancer changed how he looked at life.

“I turned it into a positive,” Williams said. “I learned I have a purpose for living.”

Fortunately for the “Happy Days” actor and his family, he did survive his cancer scare. To do so, he had to endure two surgeries. He also stayed in the hospital for three weeks.

Even though he was battling his own health scare, Anson Williams spent a lot of his time during his hospital stay doing what he could to make others feel better.

“I would walk around my floor and try to make patients and other people laugh,” the actor said. “I did what I was trained to do — bring good humor, take the stress out of people’s lives, and make them smile.”

Making it through his cancer battle made him a better person, Williams said.

“It was the wake-up call I needed,” the actor also said. “I needed to reprioritize my life. It actually became beneficial for me in that I became so much stronger about what I believe in.”

Cancer Diagnosis Motivated ‘Happy Days’ Actor to Help Others, Focus on His Family

One way Anson Williams decided to give back was to champion a movement to help prevent drowsy driving. Drowsy driving led to more deaths than substance abuse as of the article’s publication in June 2017. So, it was important to the “Happy Days” actor to do what he could to help save lives that way.

Interestingly, Williams isn’t the only member of his family who has helped save lives. According to his IMDb.com page, one of his cousins was Dr. Henry Heimlich – the inventor of the famous Heimlich Maneuver.

Another way Williams has helped others is by sharing his cancer story via social media. He hoped doing so would make it easier for others diagnosed with the disease to cope.

“I put down what I was feeling, and I thought people would connect with my story. I wanted to inspire someone else,” Williams also said.

As many people do when they face a health crisis, “Happy Days” Anson Williams leaned on his family for support. And after he survived colon cancer, the actor came to realize just how important his wife, children, and grandchildren are to him. Williams had been married to his wife, Jackie, for close to 30 years when he battled cancer.

“I learned to have a deeper appreciation for my family. I always knew I loved them and they were important, but now it’s at a whole new level,” Williams said.