18. George Lucas inadvertently helped sell the show
Despite winning producers round to his idea, Marshall still had a hard time selling his 1950s concept to network heads. In fact, nobody saw the potential in a sitcom set during the era of rock ‘n’ roll. But fortunately director George Lucas released the similarly retro-themed American Graffiti in 1973, which brought about renewed interest in all things ’50s. ABC subsequently picked up Marshall’s show soon after.
17. Ron Howard joined Happy Days to avoid the draft
After gaining sitcom experience on The Andy Griffith Show, Ron Howard became a true Hollywood icon thanks to his role as Richie on Happy Days. Nevertheless, the future director didn’t necessarily have stardom in mind when he agreed to the part. Instead, he only said yes to the show as a means to avoid being drafted into America’s then-ongoing war in Vietnam.
16. Henry Winkler bluffed his way onto the show
While Ron Howard’s Richie was Happy Days’ original lead, Henry Winkler’s Fonzie undeniably stole the show. However, the actor, who struggled with dyslexia, nearly failed his audition. Unable to read his lines, Winkler – as he revealed to The Mirror in 2013 – ad-libbed and told the casting agents that he was giving them “the essence of the character.” Amazingly, his ploy was a success.