Set in Milwaukee in the 1950s, Happy Days was famous for its big laughs and schmaltzy sentimentality among television viewers. With the right actors in the ensemble cast, it was a feel-good film.
As she often did, actress Marion Ross, who played Ron Howard’s mother on the show, admitted behind the scenes that the environment was hard for her.
Especially in the early years of the show, her days were anything but happy, according to the beloved TV mom.
Marion Ross was pleased to be part of the cast of ‘Happy Days’
She did not intend to be selected for a starring role in a network sitcom, as the actress recounts in her memoir “My Days: Happy and Otherwise,” At her age, Ross thought it was almost an impossibility.
I was a 46-year-old divorced woman who was the mother of an 11-year-old girl and a teenage son the night Happy Days debuted. I was delighted,”The night Happy Days debuted, I was a 46-year-old divorced woman who was the mother of an 11-year-old girl and a teenage son. I was thrilled that Happy Days had been picked up,”that Happy Days had been picked up. “I never allowed myself to think that the show would be a big hit; neither of us did.”
The big differences were not lost on Ross between herself and her character on the show.
I couldn’t help but think that there was a huge difference between Marion Cunningham and Marion Ross, even though I might have looked like the character,”I couldn’t help but think that even though I may have looked like the character, there was a big difference between Marion Cunningham and Marion Ross,” “Marion Cunningham had no career outside the home, didn’t drive a car and always made sure her hair was perfect.”
She was surprised by the attitude of the actress towards her.
Nothing prepared Ross for the treatment she was about to get, in particular, from one actor. She seemed to be really disliking her on-screen husband, played by Tom Bosley, and Ross had no way of knowing why.
It troubled him even when she put her hand on his arm or shoulder when they were filming a scene together.
In front of the rest of the cast and crew, Bosley did not seem to mind insulting his co-star.
She wrote, “Along with his dislike of any physical contact with me, Tom also seemed irritated by pretty much everything I did or said,” “I recall occasions when the cast and some of the technical crew members would sit around sharing stories and laughing during rehearsals.
The episode of the “Andy Griffith Show” that Ron Howard said moved him even as a child
“Whenever I tell a story, Tom would grunt and say, “Marion, who cares? “‘
As Ross recounts, the two actors finally warmed up to each other.
Bosley, “peppery and feisty,” could also be a “very sweetheart.” As she finally learned, the brusqueness of Bosley was primarily due to the terminal illness of his wife that led to her death, their young daughter’s new status as a single parent, and the depression that gripped him through it all.
“I may have had mixed feelings about [Tom] at one time, but I came to really love him, and he and I became a wonderful couple,” wrote Ross.
Eventually, Ross and Bosley became best friends,
Ross, who thought that the series would definitely be one of her life’s most daunting experiences at the beginning of Happier Days, realized over time that everyone involved in the series had become her family.
Tom Bosley, also.
The two actors had grown close as friends and confided in each other.
As she noted in her memoir, Bosley’s remarks years earlier that he wasn’t interested in her opinion or thoughts were still always on his mind.
“She said, “One time we were all celebrating [Tom] for something,” she said. “After I recited my homage to him, I remember he stood up and looked at me and said, ‘You know, Marion, I need to tell you a little secret.
“I don’t give a damn about you and what you have to say!”