Happy Days was a hit show because fans adored Fonzie, the leather-clad biker who always had a swarm of girls around him. He’d click his fingers and a female would show up by his side.
Show runners wanted Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler, to have a steady girlfriend. And they envisioned the perfect woman for Fonzie.
The perfect woman was Pinky Tuscadero. Basically, she was the female version of Fonzie. She rode motorcycles, even doing tricks. While Fonzie’s signature look was a black leather jacket and slicked back hair, Pinky wore pink. She rode a pink motorcycle. She even wore pink scarves in her red curly hair.
ABC promoted the relationship. But what happened? Why was Pinky only a blip on the Happy Days decade-long timeline?
Why Did the Pinky-Fonzie Relationship Fizzle on Happy Days?
Pinky was in a three-episode arc in season four. But that’s it. There was no true love between the characters.
Why? It seems that Roz Kelly, who played Pinky, didn’t get along with the cast. She told People: “I grew up on welfare, so I don’t relate to rich kids.”
That might’ve been a slap at Winkler. He earned his Masters from Yale School of Drama. Winkler parents immigrated from Germany to Manhattan before World War II. His dad imported and exported lumber.
Happy Days did create a character named Leather Tuscadero, Pinky’s kid sister. She was in seven episodes. Show runners cast rocker Suzy Quatro to play Leather, who was a lead singer in a band.
Henry Winkler had staying power after Happy Days. He got out of acting for a time to direct. He made steady appearances in television and film since Happy Days ended. Winkler won an Emmy in 2018 for his role in “Barry.”
So What Happened To Pinky?
But Roz Kelly, who was a photographer before she was cast in Happy Days, never had a truly successful acting career. She’s 77 now. One of her acting credits was a small role in the Happy Days spin off “Blansky’s Beauties” that aired in 1977. And she played Pinky.
She guest-starred in some of the top TV shows in the 1970s — The Love Boat, Baretta, Kojak, Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy Island and The Dukes of Hazzard. She initially was going to replace Paul Michael Glaser in Starsky and Hutch. But Glaser, who starred as Starsky, decided not to quit the show, so Kelly’s role never was extended.
In 2000, Kelly was arrested for a second time. She was charged with assaulting a homeless man. Kelly, who was disabled and needed a cane to walk, already was on probation.
In 1999, she shot at a car and into a neighbor’s house. Kelly spent 98 days in jail as she waited trial on the assault charge. The judge sentenced her to 120 days in jail and ordered her to seek counseling and stay on her medicine to treat her bi-polar condition.