Happy Days was known for its many high-caliber cameos throughout its run, but one particular guest star on the classic TV series had an even more interesting backstory than most.
The star appeared in season 3 during the episode called A Date with Fonzie, which is an installment that all true Happy Days fans know.
In the story, the network introduced the characters of Laverne and Shirley, who, of course, went on to star in their own sitcom for seven years. But neither of the quirky ladies were the guests in question. Instead, it was a minor character who lusted over Ralph Malph’s piano chops.
The actress’s name was Sheila Sisco. And she found her place on one of the most infamous television shows thanks to an appearance on Don Adams’ Screen Test.
Unfortunately, most people have never heard of the series. It only enjoyed a 14 episode run between 1975 and 1976. Nonetheless, it had an interesting premise that’s akin to many of the game shows that we enjoy in the present day.
On the show, Adams, who was both an actor and director himself, would invite random hopefuls to compete for a chance to make it big. Players would dress up in full costumes. Then, they’d have to re-enact famous movies scenes with celebrity guests such as Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, and Loretta Swit.
In almost all cases, the winner would earn a guest spot on General Hospital. And if they proved themselves, they’d also have a chance at a movie role.
But for the debut episode, Adams wanted to open with a bang. So, he offered the winner a spot on television’s most popular show. And that was the episode that Sisco competed on.
The ‘Happy Days’ Guest Star Was the Only Winner to Make it to the Big Screen
The future Happy Days guest star proved her acting abilities by playing Jane alongside James Caan’s Tarzan. And she did so well that she got calls from Francis Ford Coppola, Howard Koch, Art Carney, Jack Lemmon, and an agent named Jack Field.
The budding celebrity ended up signing with Field. And after batting her eyelashes at Ralph Malph, she went on to appear in five movies. Sheila Sisco jumped right into parts with A-listers like Howard Hughes, Ann-Margret, and Peter Falk, too.
However, she didn’t seem to take to acting as much as she originally thought. By 1989, she dropped out of the industry, got married, and started a family.
But Sheila Sisco didn’t completely leave the film world behind. Once her children were grown, she began working on the opposite side of the camera with her son. Together, the duo did video productions for NASA.
And of all the people to compete on Don Adams’ Screen Test, she was the only one who ended up making a name for herself.