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‘Happy Days’ turns 50


On January 15, 1974, Happy Days debuted on ABC, meaning Garry Marshall‘s beloved sitcom is celebrating its 50th birthday on Monday.

Set in 1950s Milwaukee, the show centered on Ron Howard‘s Richie Cunningham, his family and his friends, including Anson Williams‘ Warren “Potsie” Weber, Donny Most‘s Ralph Malph and, of course, Henry Winkler‘s Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli.

Erin Moran played Richie’s younger sister, Joanie; Marion Ross played his mom, Marion — or Mrs. C, as Ritchie’s friends called her; and Tom Bosley played the family patriarch, Howard.

At one point before the show really took off with viewers, Richie and Joanie had an older brother, Chuck, who was written out of the show.

The show ran for 11 seasons and spun off a pair of classic sitcoms, Laverne & Shirley and Mork and Mindy. It also spawned three failed spinoffs, Joanie Loves Chachi, starring Moran and the Happy Days cast addition Scott Baio as Fonz’s cousin Chachi Arcola, as well as the lesser known Blansky’s Beauties and Out of the Blue.

During its run, Happy Days earned 20 Emmy nominations and won 18.

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