Tags: Hollywood | ron howard | fonzie | happy days | henry winkler

Ron Howard Reveals Why He Almost Quit 'Happy Days' Over Henry Winkler

Actor and director Ron Howard
Actor and director Ron Howard (ANSA via AP)

By    |   Monday, 18 November 2019 12:22 PM

When Garry Marshall created "Happy Days" in 1974, he was unaware of how popular the sitcom would become, but the fame and fortune at one point caused tension among cast members who had always shared a close bond.

In a recent interview with ET, Ron Howard, who played the clean-cut teen Richie Cunningham in the megahit series, admitted he nearly left "Happy Days" at one point because of his co-star Henry Winkler, who played the iconic "Fonzie."

Winkler was an instant hit among audiences as the rebellious "greaser" Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli, and network executives wanted to cash in on that by diverting the attention of the show onto him. Howard was not happy.

"They did come to me and said, 'Well the network would kind of like to change the name of the show to Fonzie's Happy Days,'" he recalled. "And I said, 'Well, I don't think I wanna be in that show. I wanna be in 'Happy Days' and I think Henry should have, you know, every opportunity to do everything — that's fantastic — but you know, I signed on for this other thing and I just really don't wanna do that. I think I'd go back to film school.'"

Marshall then intervened.

"The one producer who wasn't there was Garry Marshall," Howard continued. "In fact, he was standing outside and he said, 'How'd that go in there?' And I said, 'Well, I don't wanna upset everybody and disappoint everybody, and I love Henry and I love the show, but I just, I just don't feel good about that.' And he said, 'It's not gonna happen then.' And that was that."

Anson Williams, who played Warren "Potsie" Weber on the show and who sat in on the interview alongside Howard and Winkler recently, recalled how Marshall always made the cast his priority. His death in July 2016 following a stroke shook them to the core.

"He really cared about us. More than [as] actors. He really inspired us to learn," Williams said.

"Garry was a natural teacher and he loved collecting theories and axioms about life but also making a show," Howard chimed in. "They were all hilarious but they all rang true and they were great lessons."

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When Garry Marshall created "Happy Days" in 1974, he was unaware of how popular the sitcom would become, but the fame and fortune at one point caused tension among cast members who had always shared a close bond.
ron howard, fonzie, happy days, henry winkler
369
2019-22-18
Monday, 18 November 2019 12:22 PM
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