Marion Ross' Christmas wish in 1996 was to be in another Ron Howard movie
Let's get Mrs. C up on the big screen again, Ronny!
For the Happy Days Christmas episode "Richie Branches Out," Richie Cunningham spends the whole time trying to convince a gorgeous model that he’s a big deal hardware magnate seeking the right face for his company’s advertising campaigns.
It’s an episode all about forgetting who Richie Cunningham really is, and for actor Ron Howard, after Happy Days ended and he became a big deal movie director, you could say that he was ready to do just that in the real world, by putting some distance between him and the whole Cunningham family.
For more than a decade as Howard’s star rose as a director, he produced hit films that spanned genres. Rom-coms like Splash, sci-fi splendor like Cocoon, adventure-fantasy flicks like Willow, family comedy like Parenthood, and heart-clutching drama like Apollo 13. There was no genre where he couldn’t make magic.
No matter what the genre, though, you may have noticed that Howard didn’t try to fold in many actors from his Happy Days family into any of his hit movies.
For his TV mom Marion Ross, this was a huge bummer. She understood that Howard had to go on to do his own thing, but she was struggling as an actor. While she'd made an appearance in Ron Howard's 1977 feature directorial debut, Grand Theft Auto, that movie now looked like small potatoes compared to the megahits he was now working on.
But then in 1996, Ross ended up cast in a major motion picture without Howard’s help.
It happened when an earthquake forced Ross out of her Los Angeles home, and she decided to take a part in a Missouri theater production of Steel Magnolias.
The director of that production was Robert Harling, who had just been tapped to make his movie directorial debut by directing the sequel to Terms of Endearment.
Having enjoyed working with Ross on Steel Magnolias, Harling cast her in The Evening Star across from Shirley MacLaine, playing her maid.
Ross saw this role as her big chance to not just prove she had the acting chops to share scenes with MacLaine, but also to show to Howard that she was good enough to be in one of his big movies.
That’s why when The Evening Star came out on Christmas Day in 1996, Ross had a special Christmas wish she shared with The Atlanta Constitution. She wanted to be in one of Ron Howard’s next movies: "I can see why he couldn’t use anyone from Happy Days at first," Ross said, "But I hope this [movie] will change his mind."
Unfortunately, Ross’ Christmas wish has yet to come true. Howard continues to direct movies today, but he has never cast his former TV mom to be in any of his movies since Grand Theft Auto.
Ross is mostly retired from acting today but has contributed to a few projects within the past year, so our Christmas wish, if Ron Howard happens to see this: Maybe put Marion Ross in your next movie? Do it for Mrs. C!
Give The Band A Hand
Tonight at 6:30 pm
This episode Give The Band A
Hand has the Last Appearance
Of Chuck Cunningham played
By Gavan O Herlihy and has
The first appearance of
Richie's Band: Richie Potsie
Ralph and Bag.
Dance Song called THE
Junior Hocker (Russ Horton)
And Herbie Bates (Don Washbrook) on Season One
ONLY of Petticoat Junction.
Am I the only person who
Remembers Junior Hocker and Herbie Bates on PETTICOAT
JUNCTION on Season one only?
Does anyone Remember Moose
(Barry Greenberg)and Bag (Neil
J. Schwartz) and Bobby Melner
(Harris Kal)and Eugene Belvin (Denis Mandel) and Melvin Belvin (Scott Bernstein) on
Happy Days?Does anyone remember Bill Scott (David Kent)
And Chester Anderson (Buddy
Hart)and Tooey Brown (Tiger Fafara) on Leave It To Beaver?
Does anyone remember Andy
(Pat Cranshaw)And Doug (Doug
Robinson) on Alice!?
Andy and Doug were regular customers at Mel's Diner on
Happy Days Promo where GOMER PYLE is taking a photo of Richie
Al Howard Marion Joanie Potsie
Ralph and Fonzie .
Putting scenes from GOMER PYLE USMC and Happy Days Together is
Great . I also liked the Richie the
C Ad with scenes from Happy Days
Green Acres GOMER PYLE USMC ETC.
I'm a fan of Lou Ann Poovie (Elizabeth MacRae) Mary Ann
Summers (Dawn Wells) from
Gilligan's Island and Cpl. Boyle
(Roy Stuart) from GP USMC
My favorite castaways on Gilligan's Island were "AND THE REST".
My FAVORITE CASTAWAYS on
GILLIGAN'S ISLAND were
"AND THE REST" so who are my
2 Favorite Castaways on GI?
This article has the reverse effect of making Ron Howard look bad. Do you really think that’s Marion Ross’ intention?
Here are the reasons for my objection. As writers you must be hard up this holiday season finding more astute topics. There are a couple of things going on here which make the article irrelevant. 1) Have you heard of casting agencies? And do you really think Ms. Ross’ agent wouldn’t have her best interests at heart? Just because she hasn’t appeared in one of RH’s movies, doesn’t mean every opportunity is worth her while just because it’s his. I’ve heard this kind of article written about other actors. 2) There’s also the matter of compensation. And billing. And a lot of that has to do with an actor’s reputation. Hollywood is still a business. 3) Finally do you really think these actors don’t know how to call one another? Do you think they haven’t had lunch since the end of Happy Days? Or that RH is intentionally slighting her.
If so, I doubt that she’d be slinging hash for MeTV to promote one of their hardcore shows.
I think if you really wanted to validate the article you’d try to get RH’s input, or a least a third party viewpoint. The lack of research and authenticity is what’s destroying the reputation of journalism as a craft.
It is noteworthy that they dig through old newspapers, but it might be better to combine bits from different articles, rather than inflate one bit into an article here. I'm still not sure why John Lennon appearing at the Happy Days set got 2 articles.
It's hard to write about stuff that happened 40 years ago. When the people are gone. It'd be like us trying to make something in the Smithsonian look fresh and appealing! I get it.
True enough, I also like the way you put your perspective into it. The drawback lies in the retelling of anything. That's why I suggested digging a little deeper. Then it would be reeelly interesting.
Most of the classic TV actors who've survived this long are nice people. And deserve a good spotlight. Most of the time the articles work out well. It's just about balance that's all. Even if the writer has to put a little postscript of their own, into it. It isn't like Marion Ross isn't accessible to Weigel broadcasting. Clipped to their stipend ... did you know we've featured you this week, thank you for Happy Days!!
There are others who offer a given personality and they act to that, instead. You're hiring Shatner because he's Shatner (at this point) and a laundry list of others in the same circumstance. But you're not hiring him (at this point) because you need someone to play Othello.
Acting is an evolutionary business. And actors rise (usually) to their most famous character.
" The truth is she is not that great an actor" is your opinion: = -1 strike
" has been typecast as Mrs "C". = -1 strike
" his not wanted her in any major movie, I wouldn't either" again your opinion = -1 strike
For a recently semi retired 93 year old, she did well before and after her successful role on an iconic tv series.
That we're talking about her (still living) 50 years later, makes her "something" just in our memory. Who better to play Richie's (or Ron Howards) fictional mother (let's face it). And it doesn't need to be at the expense of anyone else.
How cool, she was in all these shows I LOVE: Mannix, Route 66, Mr. Novak, Death Valley Days, Hawaii Five-O, The Brady Bunch, The Fugitive, and Night Court.
Ron Howard directed Henry Winkler in Night Shift. Clint was in that film as well.
Tom Hanks was in an episode of Happy Days and starred in splash
As someone mentioned his brother Clint has been in 17 of his movies
His dad Rance has been in a ton of his movies as well.
Direct a Happy Days Reunion
Movie called Whatever Happened To Chuck Cunningham?
Randolph Roberts could play
Chuck Cunningham and Marion
Ross could play Marion Cunningham .The plot would
Finally Reveal whatever happened to Chuck Cunningham
And Henry Winkler Fonzie
Ted McGinley AKA Roger Phillips
Neil J Schwartz AKA BAG ZOMBROSKI
Anson Williams AKA Potsie
Donny Most AKA Ralph Malph
Scott Baio AKA Chachi Arcola
Danny Butch AKA Spike
Denis Mandel AKA Eugene Belvin
Barry Greenberg Moose
Scott Bernstein Melvin Belvin
Misty Rowe Wendy
Tita Bell AKA Trudy
Crystal Bernard AKA KC Cunningham
Cathy Silvers Jenny Piccalo
Billy Warlock Flip Phillips
Could all be in this Reunion
Movie .Marion Cynningham
Asks Fonzie and the rest of
The Happy Days. Gang to
Find Chuck Cunningham because Mrs. C is.very sad and
Finding Chuck Cunningham
Marion Cunningham asks Fonzie and the rest of the
Happy Days Gang to find
Chuck Cunningham because Mrs. C is very sad
And finding Chuck Cunningham would make
Mrs. C very happy.
Ron Howard could have a
Cameo appearance as Richie in the movie
Whatever Happened To Chuck Cunningham ?
And the Reunion Movie
Could be Dedicated To
The MEMORY of
GAVAN O Herlihy AKA
Chuck Cunningham 1
And To The Memory of
Erin Moran AKA Joanie Cunningham
Harlow 1313 and Mrs. Phil
Harris and ALL Fans of
Happy Days let me know if
You like my idea for a Happy Days Reunion Movie
Called Whatever happened to Chuck Cunningham.
Rest In Peace
Gavan O Herlihy
Gone But Not Forgotten
Or maybe their father insisted.