Happy Days was one of the most influential shows in TV history. It didn’t just entertain audiences. It introduced them to several great actors. For instance, Henry Winkler and Pat Morita both got their big breaks on the show. The show also helped to revitalize the fashion and music of the 1950s. However, one of the show’s biggest contributions to television and film was the man who took on the role of Mork, the alien visitor from the planet Ork.
Mork and Mindy made Robin Williams a superstar. That all started with a recurring role on Happy Days. Henry Winkler, who played The Fonz on the classic show, once told The Guardian about the first time he met the fledgling actor on the set of the show.
Henry Winkler on Meeting Robin Williams on the Set of Happy Days
Mondays can be rough. Coming back to work after a couple of days off isn’t always the best part of the week. However, if you look at it right, there are endless possibilities. Mondays are the start of a whole new chapter in life. Sometimes, the week can kick off with something special. It was a Monday when Henry Winkler first met Robin Williams on Happy Days.
The Happy Days writers already had the role of Mork all figured out. However, the role wasn’t an easy one to cast. So, up until just two days before shooting the episode in which he would appear, the script supervisor was reading his lines for rehearsals. Then, Winkler remembers, a young, shy, inexperienced actor walked on to the set. At the time, Williams hadn’t done much work in front of a camera. He was mostly known for his standup comedy. However, when he picked up the script, Winkler knew there was something special about the new guy on set.
In fact, the Happy Days star said he knew he was in the presence of greatness almost immediately. The other thing that Winkler knew almost instantly was that his job for that episode was to stay out of Robin Williams’ way. He could see the potential star power radiating from the young actor. So, he knew that the best thing for the episode would be to let Williams shine.
Mork was only supposed to be on Happy Days one time. However, audiences loved him so much that he returned a second time. Then, showrunners created Mork and Mindy to showcase the character. From there, Williams’ star continued to rise.