Sunday, May 8, 2011

Potsie Weber from the TV show Happy Days played by Anson Williams

Anson Williams was born as Anson William Heimlick on September 25, 1949.  He is most famous for playing the role of Potsie Weber on the TV sitcom Happy Days.  And yes,  he is related to the guy who invented the Heimlich maneuver.  The spelling of is family name was changed at some point.

Anson Williams who played Potsie Weber on the TV show Happy Days

Anson got his acting start in 1971 on an episode of Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law starring Lee Majors and David Soul.  He would go on to appear in Love, American Style (1972); The Paul Lynde Show (1972); Marcus Welby, M.D. starring Robert Young, James Brolin and Elena Verdugo with Vera Miles and Paul Burke (1973); and Hallmark Hall of Fame: Lisa, Bright and Dark co-starring Anne Baxter, John Forsythe, Anne Lockhart, Kay Lenz, and Erin Moran.

It was in 1974 that Anson began playing the role of Potsie Weber on the TV hit comedy Happy Days.  He co-starred with Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham), Don Most (Ralph Malph), Henry Winkler (Arthur Fonzarelli aka 'Fonzie'), Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham),  Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham), Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), Al Molinaro (Al Delvecchio), Pat Morita (Arnold), Scott Baio (Chachi Arcola), and Lynda Goodfriend as Lori Beth.  Later the cast would be joined by Ted McGinley(Roger Phillips) and Cathy Silvers (Jenny Piccalo) as Ron Howard and Donny Most left.  The show originally focused on the roles Potsie and Ritchie, however over the years 'Fonzie' became more popular and the focus of the show.  Anson actually sang the vocals for the band formed with Richie and Ralph Malph in Happy Days.  Williams played the role of Potsie for ten years until the show ended in 1984.

Front: Anson Williams (Potsie Weber), Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham) Back: Donny Most (Ralph Malph), and Henry Winkler ("The Fonze" Arthur Fonzarelli) of the TV show Happy Days
Front: Donny Most (Ralph Malph), Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham), Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham) Back: Henry Winkler ('The Fonze' Arthur Fonzarelli), Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), Anson Williams (Potsie Weber), and Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham) of the TV show Happy Days in the pre-80s era

During the Happy Days years, Anson also appeared in Laverne & Shirley starring Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, Phil Foster, Eddie Mekka, Betty Garrett and additional guest star Ron Howard; 'Twas the Night Before Christmas co-starring Foster Brooks, Alice Ghostley, Anne Meara, Paul Lynde, George Gobel, and Martha Raye (1977);
The Love Boat starring Gavin MacLeod (Captain Merrill Stubing), Fred Grandy ("Gopher" Smith), Bernie Kopell (Ship's Doctor Adam Bricker), Lauren Tewes (Cruise Director Julie McCoy), Ted Lange (Isaac Washington), and Jill Whelan (Vicki Stubing) (1977); Greatest Heroes of the Bible: The Ten Commandments starring John Marley, Dan Frazer and Kristoffer Tabori (1978); and Fantasy Island starring Ricardo Montalban, and Hervé Villechaize (1983).

Front: Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham), Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham),  Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham)  Back: Ted McGinley (Roger Phillips), Lynda Goodfriend (Lori Beth), Scott Baio (Chachi Arcola), Henry Winkler ('The Fonze' Arthur Fonzarelli), Al Molinaro (Al Delvecchio), Cathy Silvers (Jenny Piccalo), and Anson Williams (Potsie Weber) of the TV show Happy Days in the 80s era

After Happy Days, Williams starred in I Married a Centerfold co-starring Teri Copley, Tim Daly, Robert Hanley, Diane Ladd, and Todd Susman (1984).  Then after a ten year absence he would appear in the TV show Fudge starring Jake Richardson, Eve Plumb, Alex Burrall, Forrest Witt, Luke Tarsitano, and Nassira Nicola (1995).  Five years later he would appear in a couple of episodes of Baywatch starring Jason Momoa, Stacy Kamano, Brande Roderick, Krista Allen, Michael Bergin, Joyce Giraud, and Jason Brooks (2000).

In 2002 he would appear in Son of the Beach starring Jaime Bergman, Roland Kickinger, Timothy Stack, and Leila Arcieri. This would be followed by an appearance in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch in 2003 co-starring Melissa Joan Hart, Elisa Donovan, Diana Maria Riva, Soleil Moon Frye, Nick Bakay, Andrew W. Walker, and Bumper Robinson with former Happy Days co-star Don Most as well as Lea Downey.

Most recently in 2009 Anson starred in a TV movie titled Take 2 co-starring Beth Littleford and Don Most.  This is the last known acting appearance by Anson Williams.  He is now married to his on-screen Happy Days girlfriend Lorrie Mahaffey.

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