‘Happy Days’ Star Marion Ross Honored with Statue in Hometown, Henry Winkler Calls Her ‘One of the Great Ladies of the 21st Century’

by Samantha Whidden
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The town of Albert Lea, Minnesota is honoring Happy Days star Marion Ross with a statue that is dedicated to her acting career. The statue is reportedly at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center, which is located in the city’s downtown area.

Henry Winkler, who starred in Happy Days with Ross, took to Twitter to share his appreciation for his former co-star.

“One of the great ladies of the 21st century,” Winkler tweeted with pictures of Ross’ statue. 

Marion Ross was born in 1928 and was raised in Albert Lea. She went on to attend college at San Diego State University and made her film debut in 1953’s Forever Female. In the hit ABC sitcom, Happy Days, Marion played the family matriarch, Marion Cunningham.

She received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her role in the series. The show ran from 1974 until 1984. She went on to play Ms. Wakefield in King of the Hill, Bernice Forman on That ‘70s Show, and Ida Holden on Brothers & Sisters. 

‘Happy Days’ Star Marion Ross Reacts to Statue in Albert Lea 

During her interview with MPR News, Marion Ross reveals her reaction to the statue. The actress states she finds it impressive that the small town actually “bothers” with her.

“I think it’s really extraordinary,” the Happy Days star proclaims. “Because I want everybody in the world to know about Albert Lea, Minnesota.” Ross describes the town as a wonderful place to have grown up and gone to school. 

The Happy Days actress also discusses how she was approached by Pennsylvania artist, Chad Fisher, for the statue.

“[Chad] came to my house, and he took pictures of me. So, the sculpture looks quite a bit like me. You would be surprised.”

Marion speaks about the town and how proud she is to return to her roots.

“All the wonderful people, that’s what is here,” she says. “Wonderful people. [Who] have remained my friends for years.” Marion is also notably the grand marshal for Albert Lea’s Third of July parade on Saturday evening. 

Marion Ross Talks About Her Time on the ‘Happy Days’ Set 

In a 2020 interview with TVLine, Marion Ross recalls her time on the set of Happy Days. While discussing Howard and Marion’s marriage, she refers to the couple as being “frisky” with one another.

“‘Frisky’ is such a perfect word for [the marriage],” Ross proclaims. “It’s very dear. ‘Howard, are you getting frisky?’ ‘Yes, Marion.’”

Marion also talks about her Happy Days character’s parental guidance.

“She was an awfully nice person, and she always stayed in the home. There was that one time she said to Howard, ‘I’ve got to get a job. And I’ve got to learn to drive. I’ve got to get a bigger life.’ But it didn’t take.”

Outsider.com