‘Happy Days’ Star’s Father Gave Him Advice at 15 That Led to Show, Career Success

by Joe Rutland

A little turn in direction, thanks to his father, led one “Happy Days” star to find fame and success as an actor on a hit TV sitcom.

Don Most, who played Ralph Malph on the ABC sitcom, talked about his parents’ influence on his career in a 2021 interview with Harvey Brownstone.

According to Brownstone, Most’s parents were supportive of their son’s dreams. They found a special school in Manhattan where he could learn about singing and dancing. Yet it was Most’s father who actually pushed him to pursue acting more than singing.

“Yeah, you know it was interesting,” the “Happy Days” star said, “After I was at the school, as you mentioned, I got handpicked to be part of a professional-like nightclub revue that was comprised of some of the students.”

‘Happy Days’ Star Says Father Wasn’t Pushing Him Toward Being Actor

Most recalled being 15 years old and part of this revue playing in the Catskill Mountains in New York state. That area is known as the Borscht Belt, where a number of resorts allowed entertainers to perform.

“I was in heaven,” he said. “Here I was, 15 years old, feeling like, ‘Wow I’ve made it. I’m singing in this nightclub act, you know.'”

Then Most starts talking about father, saying that “he was really smart.”

“He wasn’t pushing me because I was the one who really wanted to do it,” Most, who played Ralph Malph for seven seasons and a final-season cameo on “Happy Days,” said. “For some reason, he realized what I was doing in that particular act and all that, I think he said, ‘Why don’t you balance things.’ And he’d seen the act in some plays, school, or camp. He said, ‘Maybe you should take a real acting class, like a real, good, you know, serious one.'”

Most said that his father “had some real good intuition about that obviously.”

Most Found Himself Falling In Love With Acting Through Class

The young, aspiring singer put his musical dreams aside and hit the acting class. Most said he really loved the class and “that’s when thing started [to happen].”

“A woman became my manager through that school, through the workshop,” he said. “And then she started getting me out to auditions, meeting agents in New York. And I started doing a lot of commercials initially, a little TV. But that’s when things really started happening for me on the acting side.”

He ultimately found himself on “Happy Days,” which made Don Most a household name.

Most joined a cast made up of Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Tom Bosley, Marion Ross, Erin Moran, and Anson Williams. The ABC sitcom enjoyed massive success, yet Most eventually left to pursue his musical dreams.