Happy Days Are Here Again: Henry Winkler, Anson Williams & Donny Most Reunite
The former costars – and lifelong friends – talk to PEOPLE about their post-show lives
They were on one of the biggest TV hits of the ’70s.
Happy Days reached about 30 million viewers each week and ran for 11 seasons, ending in 1984.
Now, 31 years after it went off the air, three of the show’s stars have gotten back together. Henry Winkler (Fonzie), Anson Williams (Potsie) and Donny Most (Ralph) attended the Celebration Exotic Car Festival in Celebration, Florida, last week. The event raises money for several children’s charities.
At the beginning of the festival, the Happy Days stars attended a Beach Boys concert with special guest performer John Stamos. It was the perfect storm of pop culture kitsch.
Winkler, Williams and Most talked with PEOPLE about getting together – and what life has been like since the show went off the air.
A lot of people don’t understand how big Happy Days was.
Williams: It was huge. Something like 50% of all American TVs were tuned to us. No one gets numbers like that anymore. When I directed episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, the stars were excited about 1 million viewers. And I was thinking, ‘We got 40 million each week!’
Most: We were No. 1, and then Laverne and Shirley came on, and they were No. 1, and we’d go back and forth being the top show.
Williams: And then we got a new audience in syndication!
Most: My daughters are 26 and 28, and their friends watched the show on Nick at Nite.
Winkler: People still call me Fonzie, but they can call me anything, I don’t mind. As long as they’re with me! I’ve done a lot of other things, but I’m really proud of my time on Happy Days.
It’s great to see you all back together. So what are you all up to these days?
Most: I just finished a role in a psychological thrilled called Follow. That was a different role for me. But also, I’m a singer of the Great American Songbook, the old standards. I do a lot of shows.
Williams: He’s amazing. Really, you have to hear it.
Winkler: Actually, Donny is going to sing tomorrow, and I’m so excited to hear it. He’s a crooner, like Tony Bennett. Every time that I was going to hear him sing in L.A., I was traveling. So I’m glad I finally get to hear him.
Henry, they just announced another season of Arrested Development. Anything you can tell me about that?
Winkler: (Laughs) I have not been asked to be a part of it yet, but my assumption is that the Bluth family will need a lawyer.
Also, I’ve also just sent my 29th novel for children to the publisher. They are about my life as a learning-challenged kid. I’m very proud of them.
So what’s it like to get together after so many years?
Williams: Well, I see Donny a lot. He lives about 10 minutes from me.
Most: More like 20 minutes.
Williams: Okay, 20 minutes. But he’s one of my closest friends.
Most: Ron [Howard] travels a lot, because he’s very successful, but it’s good to see him sometimes, too.
Winkler: It’s a family feeling. Ron, Anson, Don … We talk to each other during the year. I talk to [producer] Garry Marshall and [costar] Marion Ross. I actually just saw Garry at his 80th birthday. We are family, no doubt.