Power Rankings: Happy Days, Part 1

5 Dec

(Power Rankings sum up:  Each week, we’ll pick a television show and rank the actors/actresses/contestants/correspondents/etc. based on what they’ve done after the series ended (unless we’re ranking a current series, in which case we’ll have to bend the rules).  Preference will be given to more recent work, but if the work was a long time ago, but much more important/relevant, that will be factored in as well)

Happy Days this week.  This is a very long one, so it’s getting split into two parts.  I went with a slightly more expanded cast then I felt I needed to because why not and I kind of wanted to cover Pat Morita.  A surprising amount of the cast found a surprising amount of success after the show.  Let’s go.

12.  Lynda Goodfriend (as Lori Beth Allen Cunningham) – She had small roles in Beaches and Pretty Woman.  I’m always glad when there’s one person with almost nothing.  It’s easier to write and it lets the rankings build.

11.  Al Molinaro (as Al Delvecchio) – After Happy Days, Molinaro was in an episode of Punky Brewster.  He was in the main cast of one season series The Family Man in 1991 and in a Step by Step episode in 1992.  He appeared in Weezer’s Buddy Holly video introducing the band.

10.  Cathy Silvers (as Jenny Piccalo) – She was in a The Love Boat, a Punky Brewster and a Wings, and co-starred in one season series Foley Square.  More interesting to me, she’s the son of Phil Silvers, best known as Sgt. Bilko.  Most interesting to me, she voiced Marie Dodo in fantastic Sesame Street movie Follow That Bird.  She gets ahead of Molinaro for that last credit.

9.  Erin Moran (as Joannie Cunningham) – She was in six episodes of The Love Boat (was anybody acting on ‘70s TV not in The Love Boat?) and episodes of Glitter, Murder, She Wrote and Diagnosis: Murder.  She took a decade before her next roles in TV movie Mother Goose Parade and an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful in 2009.  She was a contestant on Celebrity Fit Club in 2008 and appeared in Not Another B Movie in 2011.

8.  Don Most (as Ralph Malph) – After Happy Days, he appeared in three seasons of Dungeons & Dragons on CBS and as a voice on both seasons of the animated Teen Wolf show.  Afterwards, he was in episodes of The Munsters Today, Charles in Charge, Murder, She Wrote, Baywatch, Sliders, Dark Skies and Diagnosis Murder.  In the 2000s, he appeared in episodes of Yes, Dear, Star Trek: Voyager, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Century City, Men of a Certain Age and Glee.

7.  Anson Williams (as Potsie Weber) – I want to take a moment and note that the character shares his actual name with my dad – Warren Weber.  Okay, now that that’s acknowledged, I will get to describing Williams’ work, and note the gap between Most and Williams, even with Most clearly ahead of Moran.  I didn’t exactly know how to evaluate TV direction, so Williams is stuck here but the remaining seven people have all had exemplary careers.  Williams was in TV movie I Married a Centerfold in 1984, didn’t work for a decade, was in an episode of Fudge in 1995, didn’t work for a half decade, and was in two episodes of Baywatch.  Since then he’s been in episodes of Son of the Beach, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and TV movie Take 2.  I was about to chalk Williams up as a loser here, until I realized that his real forte since the early ‘80s has been in TV directing.  He’s directed dozens of episodes of well-known shows.  He started with an ABC Afterschool Special and an L.A. Law in the 1980s, and afterwards added four Diagnosis Murders, seven Fudges, seven Seaquest 2032s and individual episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess, The Pretender and Clueless.  He directed multiple episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, The Profiler, Charmed, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Lizzie McGuire and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

6.  Marion Ross (as Marion Cunningham) – Ross spent the post-Happy Days ‘80s appearing in single episodes of TV shows Hotel, Glitter, You Are the Jury, You Again?, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Court, Sister Kate, and MacGyver along with a recurring role in Love Boat as Emily Haywood, who marries Captain Merrill Stubing.  She starred as the mother in the critical acclaimed two season Brooklyn Bridge, which started in 1991 and like Happy Days was also set in the 1950s.  Afterwards, she was in episodes of Dream On, Sweet Justice, The John Laroquette Show, Burke’s Law, Promised Land, Early Edition and Family Law as well as TV movies Hidden in Silence, A Perfect Stranger, Hart to Hart: Secrets of the Hart, The Third Twin and About Sarah.  She was in four episodes of That ‘70s Show as Eric Forman’s grandmother and four episodes of Touched by An Angel.  She played Drew Carey’s mom in 14 episodes of The Drew Carey Show.  She showed up in six episodes of Gilmore Girls and in three episodes of Brothers & Sisters and The Boondocks.  She was in episodes of Out of Practice, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Nurse Jackie and Grey’s Anatomy.  She also lent her voice to episodes of King of the Hill, Spongebob Squarepants and two TV Scooby-Doo movies.

5.  Tom Bosley (as Howard Cunningham) – He was in TV movies Private Sessions and Perry Mason: The Case of the Notorious Nun and five episodes of The Love Boat.  He was a recurring character in 19 episodes of Murder She Wrote as Cabot Cove’s local sheriff, Amos Tupping, and picked up possibly his second most famous role starring in four seasons of Father Downling Mysteries as the titular priest during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.  Afterwards, he primarily guested in individual episodes of television series, including Rugrats, Burke’s Law, Johnny Bravo, Early Edition, Port Charles, Jack & Jill,Walker, Texas Ranger, ER, Family Law, Touched by an Angel, One Tree Hill, Still Standing and Family Guy.  He was in Jennifer Lopez movie The Backup Plan before he sadly passed away in 2010.

One Response to “Power Rankings: Happy Days, Part 1”


  1. Power Rankings: Happy Days, Part 2 « Television, the Drug of the Nation - December 6, 2011

    […] We’ve broken the Happy Days Power Rankings into two parts because they’re damn long.  You can find part 1 here. […]

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