‘Happy Days’: This On-Screen Couple Played a Married Pair in Another Hit Sitcom

by Jennifer Shea

Marion Ross and Tom Bosley played Richie’s parents, Mrs. and Mr. Cunningham, on “Happy Days.” But did you know the onscreen pair also played a married couple in another hit sitcom, “The Love Boat”?

In the “Love Boat” episode, which stars Andy Warhol as himself, Ross portrays a woman married to a conservative husband, Bosley. The woman was a Warhol superstar in the past. And she is afraid Warhol will recognize her and out her to her husband, who would disapprove. The episode aired third in Season 9 and is titled “Hidden Treasure/Picture from the Past/Ace’s Salary,” per Neatorama.com.

Bosley died of lung cancer in 2010 at age 83. Ross is still alive and has gone on to appear in TV shows such as “Gilmore Girls,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Drew Carey Show.”

Ross and Bosley Had Showbiz Careers After ‘Happy Days’

After “Happy Days,” Bosley starred in “Father Dowling Mysteries” as well as Glad Bag commercials during the 1970s and ’80s. He also got a recurring role on “Murder, She Wrote” after working with Angela Lansbury on a movie, “The World of Henry Orient,” according to Biography.com.

Meanwhile, Ross secured two Emmy nominations for her acting on the TV series “Brooklyn Bridge” and another Emmy nomination for her acting on “Touched by an Angel.” She also appeared on “That 70s Show,” “King of the Hill,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Two and a Half Men.” And she also co-starred in “Arsenic and Old Lace” with Jean Stapleton of “All in the Family.”

Ross Has Shown Considerable Acting Range

While Mrs. Cunningham was a sweetheart, Ross has since gone on to play much more difficult characters. For example, she starred in the independent film “A Reason,” in which she played a cold, angry woman who gathers her family to her to read out her will.

Aunt Irene was an acting challenge. But it was a challenge Ross found herself drawn to, Ross told Monsters & Critics in 2014.

“The hardest part about playing this character was remaining unlikeable because I am naturally likable. In a way you begin to want to humanize the character,” Ross said. “It was fun to be someone you don’t adore. She was no Mrs. C from ‘Happy Days.’ I was also drawn to her because it was a very good script. You can’t quite figure out who to root for in this film.”

From “Happy Days” to her later roles, Ross has demonstrated a great acting range. Who would have thought Mrs. Cunningham could turn out to be so complicated?