From 1974 to 1984, the sitcom classic Happy Days captured the heart of the nation. It was one of the highest rated shows of the 1970s, but where are the stars of the show now?
Richie Cunningham was the quintessential American '50s teen, complete with wholesome red hair and freckles. Sure, he was always trying to land a date, but we all knew he was a good guy.
Ron Howard was famous even before he joined the Happy Days cast—he had played the adorable Opie Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show. In 1980, he left Happy Days to pursue directing. The show wrote him out of his part by having his character join the army. Since then, he's had a wildly successful film directing career—he was behind the camera for Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind (for which he won an Oscar), Parenthood, Cinderella Man, and the mega-successful thriller based on the book, The Da Vinci Code, among others. While he's still currently making and producing films, he seems to have passed the acting baton to his daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, who has appeared in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Help, and Jurassic World.
The true star of Happy Days, Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli captured the hearts of everyone in America as the rough-and-tumble biker dude with the heart of gold. The ladies loved him, and his catchphrases will live on forever ("Eyyy!"). On the show he eventually became a high school teacher, and even adopted a kid by the end of the series, completing his journey from biker rebel to family man.
After Happy Days ended, Winkler started his own production company, which went on to produce MacGyver and Mr. Sunshine, among other shows. Winkle had small roles in the Adam Sandler films The Waterboy, Little Nicky and Click. He has also guest starred on Numb3rs, The Simpsons, The Practice, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Arrested Development, Crossing Jordan, Parks and Recreation and Royal Pains. He has also —who knew?
The patriarch of the Cunningham family, Howard was the owner of Cunningham Hardware. Mr. C was the typical middle-class dad: He loved keeping things simple and traditional. And he really knew how to lecture his kids!
Though he was an acclaimed stage actor for years before landing the Happy Days gig (he even won a Tony for the Broadway musical, Fiorello!), after the show ended, Bosley turned to film acting and eventually guest starring on the small screen—in everything from Walker, Texas Ranger to ER; from That '70s Show to Rugrats. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2010 after a battle with lung cancer, just months after starring in The Back-up Plan with Jennifer Lopez.
The matriarch of the Cunningham family was Marion, the beloved housewife and mother of Richie and Joanie. She was good-natured and sweet, and loved her family to bits. She did have her moments of rebellion (like when she decided to be a waitress instead of a housewife), but her heart was always in the right place.
After Happy Days ended, the former Mrs. C went on to guest star in numerous television shows, including The Love Boat, Night Court and MacGyver. She also starred in Brooklyn Bridge, which lead to two Emmy nominations. She also appeared in That '70s Show, The Drew Carey Show, Gilmore Girls, Two and a Half Men, Anger Management and Hot in Cleveland, cultivating a successful career for herself in television.
The super sassy, nosy sister of Richie, Joanie Cunningham was a typical teen girl who loved to fall in love. Her relationship with Fonzie's cousin Chachi even lead to a spin-off show (Joanie Loves Chachi). She eventually became a teacher at the same high school where Fonzie was teaching, and she and Chachi got married in the series finale.
Unfortunately, Erin Moran has not had very many happy days since the hugely successful show ended. Her spin-off series with Scott Baio was cancelled, but she did guest star on The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, and Diagnosis: Murder. She was also a contestant on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. The latest reports about Moran posit that she's currently broke and homeless, after her California home was foreclosed. with her mother-in-law and husband of 20 years in a trailer park in Indiana.
Fonzie's younger teen dream cousin, Charles "Chachi" Arcola, was an aspiring musician who fell hard for Joanie and wah-wah-wah'd into the hearts of every teenage girl in America. Chachi was so popular that he reportedly received 5,000 fan letters a week while the show was still on air.
Scott Baio went on to star in the sitcom Charles in Charge and played the title role in the musical Bugsy Malone. He took on roles in TV movies such as Stoned and All the Kids Do It, for which he was nominated for two Emmys respectively. He also guest starred in Full House, Touched by an Angel, Arrested Development and The Nanny. More recently, he received an uptick in popularity after starring in two reality TV shows, Scott Baio is 45… and Single and the following Scott Baio Is 46… and Pregnant. He also co-hosted VH1's Confessions of a Teen Idol.