Happy Days was a beloved 1970s sitcoms that ran for 11 seasons and yielded 255 episodes, in addition to numerous spin-offs. The series followed the exploits of the Cunningham family, consisting of a father, mother, son, and daughter. The main character was son Richie, played by Ron Howard. Ron headed an ensemble cast that played Richie’s family and friends. Most of the cast members from the show found continued success in entertainment after it’s end, though not all of them are still around. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at Happy Days’ cast then and now, as of 2022.
Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham
Not only was star Ron Howard the lead on the hit 1970s series Happy Days, but he was also the cast member of the show that went on to find the most career success after it’s end. While Ron Howard had been known up until Happy Days’ end as an actor, he became known later on in life for his abilities behind the camera. Ron made his directorial debut with 1977’s Grand Theft Auto, and has been directing ever since. The former television star has even won Academy Awards for his work as a filmmaker, having directed such noteworthy features as A Beautiful Mind.
Prior to Ron’s time playing lead character Richie
Cunningham on Happy Days. Ron Howard was a child star known for playing the character of Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Opie was the son of Andy Griffith’s lead. Television audiences were primed and ready to fall back in love with Ron during his teenage years. After having become accustomed to him during his youthful days on that seminal comedic sitcom. When Ron took on the role of Richie, he proved that he had staying power in the industry. Little did people know that Ron would go on to prove that he had a third career phase hidden up his sleeve as a director.
Ron spent most of his recent years directing film. The former child star has also memorably taken narration duties on the cult sitcom Arrested Development. He even made a cameo appearance on the show. Alongside real-life daughter Bryce Dallas Howard, whom the actor shares with wife Cheryl Alley. Ron Howard’s most recent film as a director was 2020’s Hillbilly Elegy.
Henry Winkler as Fonzie
While Henry Winkler hasn’t gone on to become the blockbuster director that Ron Howard has since the end of his days on the hit 1970s sitcom Happy Days. He has found continued success as a performer. In fact, Henry’s continued acting appearances have even seen him reunited with former Happy Days costar Ron Howard on the aforementioned Arrested Development. Though Henry will most likely always remain best known for playing the character of Fonzie. He has continued working in the entertainment industry consistently in the days since Happy Days’ run and has been seen both in film and on television.
Besides having appeared in such notable films as Scream and The Waterboy. Henry Winkler has also found a great deal of continued success on television in the years since Happy Days’ end. Besides Arrested Development, some of the shows that Henry has leant his acting talents to over the years include Parks and Recreations and the recent Barry. Like Ron Howard, Henry has been married to his one and only spouse since the 1970s, and the pair share children.
Erin Moran as Joanie Cunningham
Erin Moran played the character of Joanie Cunningham on the hit 1970s series Happy Days. Joanie was the younger sister of main character Richie, and the daughter of the Cunningham family. Though Erin’s role on the series was initially minor, she took on a bigger and bigger role over the course of the series’ run. Towards the end of Happy Days’ 11 seasons. The character of Joanie was given a love interest in the form of Scott Baio’s Chachi. This pairing proved popular with the show’s dwindling audience, and the couple was eventually given it’s own spin-off sitcom.
Sadly, the aptly titled spin-off sitcom Joanie Loves Chachi wasn’t a big hit with audiences. While Scott Baio’s career managed to survive the failure of the spin-off series, Erin Moran didn’t find quite as much career success after her time playing the character of Joanie came to an end. After the spin-off sitcom failed. Both her and Scott returned to Happy Days for a short period of time before the series end. Having been written off to take on their own show. When the series proper came to an end shortly afterwards, Erin floundered in the entertainment industry for a period of time before eventually retiring to take care of her mother-in-law.
Erin Moran’s Death
Sadly, Erin Moran is one of the former Happy Days cast members that is no longer with us. The former television star passed away from cancer in 2017. At the time of her death, the actress was 56 years old. Her last role was in a 2010 feature by the name of Not Another B Movie. Several years prior to that, she performed a cameo as herself in the 2003 comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
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Marion Ross as Marion Cunningham
Actress Marion Ross played the aptly named character of Marion Cunningham, who was the loving mother of the Cunningham family on the hit 1970s television series Happy Days. After her time on Happy Days came to an end, Marion performed a memorable stint on the television series The Love Boat during the 1980s. Erin Moran had also guest-starred on the popular 1980s series during the decade.
Since the 1980s, Marion has been seen on such television series as Gilmore Girls and The Drew Carey Show. However, her most prominent work nowadays is as a voiceover artist on cartoons such as SpongeBob SquarePants. Marion is still around today, and has only been married once over the course of her lifetime. She was married to husband Freeman Meskimen from 1951 to 1969, and they share a pair of children.
Scott Baio as Chachi
Scott Baio is the actor that was tasked with playing the aforementioned love interest to the character of Joanie Cunningham towards Happy Days’ later seasons. Like Erin Moran, Scott was convinced to take part in the short-lived spin-off series Joanie Loves Chachi and subsequently came back to Happy Days after the series’ failure. However, unlike Erin Moran, the end of Happy Days didn’t signal the end of Scott Baio’s career. Instead, Scott’s success on television arguably increased, with him securing the lead role on the hit 1980s series Charles in Charge. Scott’s titular lead role on the series was a monumental success, though the series stands as the actor’s last big hit up until this point.
Despite the fact that Scott Baio hasn’t had any big lead roles since Charles in Charge came to an end, the actor has continued to work in television. In 2007, the former star took part in the reality television series Scott Baio is 45… And Single. That reality series managed to net him first spouse Renee Sloan, and the two are still married today! After their marriage, the couple had a daughter named Bailey.
Don Most as Ralph Malph
Don Most played the character of Ralph Malph on the hit 1970s series Happy Days. He is another person from the cast that went on to appear on The Love Boat during the 1980s. In the years since, Don has reunited with two of his former Happy Days costars in different ways. He reunited with Scott Baio when he appeared in an episode of Scott’s series Charles in Charge. And he reunited with Ron Howard when he made an appearance in Ron’s 1999 directorial effort Edtv. More recently, Don appeared on the television series Glee and The Odd Couple, and he also plays music.
Anson Williams as Potsie Weber
On Happy Days, Anson Williams was tasked with playing the character of Potsie Weber. In the days since his time on the series came to an end. Anson has become better known as a television director than as a television star. Anson has used his experience in the industry to take directorial duties on such series as Melrose Place and Lizzie McGuire. The former television star has been married two times over the course of his life, and has five children.
Tom Bosley as Howard Cunningham
Tom Bosley was the actor that played the patriarch of the Cunningham family. He is also another former cast member from Happy Days that went on to appear on The Love Boat during the 1980s. Tom got his start in the theater, and he continued acting on Broadway after Happy Days’ end. Some of his notable Broadway roles included his award-winning work in the 1960 production Fiorello!, as well as his more recent turn in the 1994 Broadway production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Sadly, he passed away in 2010.
Al Molinaro as Al Delvechhio
Finally, we’ll take a look at Al Molinaro, who portrayed Happy Days’ diner owner Al Delvechhio. Al didn’t have many acting credits over the course of his life besides his role on the beloved 1970s series. He had gotten into acting after taking an improv class with Laverne & Shirley star Penny Marshall. Penny was a television star in her own right, and was also the brother of Happy Days’ creator, Gary Marshall. After Happy Days’ end, Al only made one appearance on a short-lived television series before passing away in 2015.
Though some of the former cast members of the hit 1970s television series Happy Days are still around and working. Others have sadly left the industry or passed away. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that multiple cast members from Happy Days went on to appear on the hit 1980s television series The Love Boat. That some of them are still around and working today? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!