‘Happy Days’: One Actor From the Sitcom Went on to Start Several Companies

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Anson Williams may be most recognized from Happy Days. Potsie became the definition of a square, loveable teenager who could charm girls with his singing voice.

His real name on Happy Days was Warren Weber. But he gained the Potsie nickname as a kid. And it stuck. So Potsie = square. Made sense.

But after Happy Days went off the air, Williams stepped behind the camera. And he eventually became a businessman.

Williams said in a 2015 interview: “Garry Marshall, our (Happy Days) mentor, always inspired us to take advantage and learn everything about the business we can aside from acting. And it was a very important platform in my life. So I was able to start writing. And I’ve been fortunate in directing well over 300 hours of television — and producing. And it also inspired my entrepreneurial abilities.

He continued: “I went into the product business 17 years ago. So I started combining commerce along with entertainment.”

Happy Days Star Helped Create Starmaker Products

Williams helped StarMaker Products. It’s a line emphasizing skincare and over-the-counter medical products. There even was a cookbook chock full of recipes for 100-calorie portion control dishes.

Earlier this year, Williams hyped one of these products after Tiger Woods suffered severe leg injuries in a one-car accident outside Los Angeles. The product is called Alert Drops.

“With Tiger Woods, the forensic experts feel that he fell asleep. I’m so glad he’s going to be OK but he’s bringing attention to this major problem,” Anson Williams explained to Page Six. “If you take this little spray, you’re up, you’re alert, it’s safe, it’s natural. It’s really Dr. Heimlich’s legacy. He was a beautiful human being.”

In the mid-1980s, Williams and Al Molinaro got together to finance a chain of Midwestern diners called Big Al. After all, Al owned the malt shop on Happy Days.

Williams is 71 now. His days of playing a fresh-faced square teen are stories he can tell his grandchildren. He married Lorrie Mahaffey, his girlfriend, Jennifer, on Happy Days. Remember when the episode where they got “pinned”? By then, the two were a couple for 18 months. Williams and Mahaffey were divorced in 1986. He married Jackie Gerken two years later. He has five children.

His TV resume stretches far past Happy Days, although Williams’s best work was behind the camera. He directed some series beloved by young people, including Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210. He also directed episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Star Trek: Voyager, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Charmed and Baywatch. And he also directed five years of The Secret Life Of The American Teenager. Williams also worked behind the camera for two other supernatural kind of shows — Hercules and spinoff Xena, Warrior Princess.

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