It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 30 years since the Cunninghams and their Happy Days buddies left our screens for good. However, while some of the show’s stars went on to forge successful careers for themselves, whether behind the camera or in front of it, some of them haven’t been quite as fortunate. So let’s take a look back at our favorite characters and find how their lives have fared since the show ended.
10. Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham)
Marion Ross earned herself a place in TV history thanks to her role as Happy Days mom Marion Cunningham, or “Mrs C.” And how she played the voice of reason not only made Ross immensely popular with the show’s fans but with some awards judges, too, as she was nominated for two Emmys.
And Ross’ career didn’t stop after Happy Days ended, either; indeed, the 88-year-old has barely slowed down since. Most recently, though, she’s had minor appearances in hit TV shows such as The Middle and Gilmore Girls. Her two kids also followed in her footsteps and now work in TV, where they’ve been making mom proud.
9. Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham)
As Richie Cunningham, Ron Howard won over audiences effortlessly. And that’s thanks in no small part to his character, who when he wasn’t being adorable and charming spent his time daydreaming and pursuing girls. Howard himself, meanwhile, ended up moving to Hollywood to pursue his own dream to become a writer when the series finished.
And it’s fair to say that Howard has done pretty well for himself since. In fact, he’s now a top film director, whose works include Splash, Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind – the latter of which him bagged an Oscar. And he continues to direct today, with one project in the pipeline rumored to be a future live-action Pinocchio movie.
8. Henry Winkler (Arthur Fonzarelli)
He might not have started out as a main character, but Henry Winkler’s Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli soon found himself promoted thanks to his fans’ adoration. And the womanizing Fonzie was the complete opposite to Richie: he never finished school and became a mechanic.
After Happy Days, then, Winkler continued working on screen, with parts in the likes of Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation. And alongside acting, he’s penned a series of children’s books that focus on a character who, like Winkler himself, has dyslexia. Plus, he’s turned his hand to photography, producing and directing as well. In fact, we suspect there’s actually nothing he can’t do…
7. Scott Baio (Chachi Arcola)
He might only have arrived in season five, but Scott Baio’s Chachi Arcola swiftly became a big hit among Happy Days fans. And that popularity may have been driven by his romantic involvement with, then marriage to, Joanie Cunningham. Indeed, the pair even warranted spin-off show Joanie Loves Chachi – although that series would be canceled after only two seasons.
And roles in minor TV shows beckoned for Baio when Happy Days drew to an end. What stands out most on his CV, however, are his times on various VH1 reality TV series, among them the embarrassingly titled Scott Baio is 45… and Single. Plus, he also showed up on the network’s Confessions of a Teen Idol, a show about former celebs trying to resurrect their careers. We’ll let you decide whether it worked…
6. Anson Williams (Warren Weber)
Anson Williams played one of Richie’s best friends, Warren “Potsie” Weber. And while Weber might have been vocally talented, he wasn’t exactly academically gifted; in fact, he’s most remembered for his gaffes. As to how he got that unusual nickname? Because he used to love playing with clay as a child, of course.
However, and just like his co-star Howard, these days Williams prefers to spend his time behind the camera lens instead of in front of it. In particular, he’s acted as director to a slew of hit TV shows – Xena: Warrior Princess, Charmed and Baywatch among them. And if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Williams has also opened a string of eateries and released his memoirs, too. Phew…
5. Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham)
Erin Moran played little Joanie Cunningham, the younger and rather interfering sister of Chuck and Richie Cunningham. And, of course, Joanie would find love in the series, with her marriage to Chachi providing season 11’s big finale.
Unfortunately, though, Moran hasn’t exactly had the most successful career since the show ended, with just a few minor TV roles to her name. And although she was once being rumored to be making an appearance alongside her former cast mates in season four of Arrested Development, that gig never materialized. Furthermore, Moran’s personal life has also seen its share of ups and down; in 2012, for example, reports emerged claiming that she had been evicted from her home.
4. Donny Most (Ralph Malph)
Donny Most famously played Happy Days’ aspiring comedian Ralph Malph. There was, however, just one major flaw in his plan: he wasn’t actually very funny. In fact, even Malph’s practical jokes often went down like a lead balloon. And as a result, he eventually gave up his dream and ended up an optometrist.
Most himself, though, didn’t need to give up his dreams after the end of Happy Days, as he was subsequently cast in the likes of CHiPs, Baywatch and Diagnosis: Murder. In 2015, meanwhile, he also turned his hand to singing ’50s favorites alongside a seven-piece band. And if you look out for him, you may spot him at the occasional celebrity golf tournament to boot.
3. Ted McGinley (Roger Phillips)
After Ron Howard departed Happy Days, Ted McGinley was drafted in with the hope that his character, Roger Phillips, could fill in for Richie. And McGinley’s lack of previous acting roles didn’t do him any harm, either, as he remained in the show until its end playing the Cunninghams’ nephew.
Yet while McGinley went on to work in hit TV shows Hope & Faith, Dynasty and The Love Boat, no doubt his role as Jefferson D’Arcy in Married… with Children is the role people know him best for. And along with keeping his hand in acting, he’s also kept himself busy by appearing on season seven of Dancing with the Stars. He probably shouldn’t consider a dancing career, however, considering that he was the second celeb kicked off the show that time round.
2. Linda Purl (Ashley Pfister)
Linda Purl played not just one, but two characters throughout Happy Days’ run, with her first stint in the show as Richie’s girlfriend Gloria. However, she mainly made her mark playing Fonzie’s love interest in the final two seasons. But Ashley and Fonzie were sadly not meant to be, and the pair broke up on screen without any explanation.
Purl has since gone on to make her name as Charlene Matlock in Matlock; she’s also appeared in much-loved TV shows Homeland, True Blood and The Office. And in yet another string to her bow, she’s had stints on Broadway as well.
1. Billy Warlock (Leopold Phillips)
Billy Warlock starred as Leopold “Flip” Phillips, Roger’s brother, in 13 episodes of Happy Days from 1982 to 1983. And Flip is perhaps best remembered for the episode in which he was involved in a hit-and-run accident with some drunk friends.
Bigger things were to come for Warlock, though, with plum roles in Days of Our Lives and, for its first three seasons, as Eddie Kramer in Baywatch. The star can also boast appearances in the likes of General Hospital and The Young and the Restless, too, although since 2010 his acting career appears to have gone rather quiet.