‘Happy Days’: One Actor Said All the Best Memories from Show Came From ‘Being on the Road’

by Joe Rutland
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For one “Happy Days” star, sweet memories about the ABC hit sitcom come from spending time with show creator Garry Marshall.

Anson Williams, who played Potsie on the show, said in an interview with Hollywood Life that Marshall helped make being on “Happy Days” special.

“It was on the road with my teammates,” Wiliams said. “It was on the road with Garry. (And) it was memories and experiences that you can’t make up.

“Everyone can go on a soundstage pretty much, but nobody plays by the China Sea in Okinawa together,” he said. “Nobody has these amazing experiences. No one’s there running and getting warmed up around Yankee Stadium or the Brewers’ Stadium or Dodger Stadium. These are memories. This is special, and that was Garry Marshall.”

‘Happy Days’ Actor Says Garry Marshall Gave Cast Meaningful Experiences

Williams says Marshall, creator of the “Happy Days” spinoff “Laverne and Shirley,” gave the cast experiences that lasted forever. He said those experiences affected work on the set and within the shows themselves.

“We had a better connection, better chemistry, better everything,” Williams said. “‘Happy Days’ was more than a show. It was an education in life. It was being inspired to be the best you could be and keeping humble. Keeping humble was a big deal with him.”

The actor and director understood more about being humble after watching Marshall in and around the “Happy Days” cast.

Williams found opportunities behind the camera after his run on the ABC sitcom ended. He was a director of episodes for shows like “Melrose Place,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” and “Lizzie McGuire.”

Anson Williams Admits To Having Difficult Relationship With Father

Obviously, his show business success would not have been predicted based on his youth. The “Happy Days” star additionally didn’t come from the most loving environment as a child.

In a 2014 article by OnMilwaukee, Williams wrote about his father’s disappointment in him and how much it affected his life.

“Every day of my life, my dad said something like, ‘If it weren’t for you, I’d have my art gallery and I wouldn’t have to feed your stupid face,'” Williams said. “My dad made sure his failure was my failure, and I didn’t let him down: I was irresponsible, insecure, klutzy.”

He writes about being “shocked” when “Willie said I did a good job and that he liked me.” Willie Turner, a friend and a boss of Williams, offers the youngster things he couldn’t get from his father.

“Willie was an African American man in his 50s,” Williams said. “He was an alcoholic, illiterate janitor. When I was 15, I was an unfocused, unconfident kid. I knew everything I did wrong and nothing I did right. I was broken.

“My family did not have any money, and when I started to want things, I got a job as an assistant janitor at a Leonard’s Department Store in Burbank, Calif.,” he said. “Willie was my boss. If he hadn’t helped me, I would not be here talking to you today.”

Outsider.com