Some “Happy Days” Memories by Tony Piazza
The Cunningham’s (Bosley and Ross)
I got to work with the Cunningham’s, Mr. and Mrs., on “The Streets of San Francisco.” They were not together however, but on separate episodes. Of course the Cunningham’s were not their real names, but the characters they played on “Happy Days” (1974-1984). I am of course talking about TOM BOSLEY and MARION ROSS. Tom worked on two episodes, and we became friends in spite of the fact that I spilt coffee on his suit- we won’t go into that! The first show we worked together on was an episode that took place on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. This was just after the Indian occupation, and we were the first group after the incident to be allowed on the grounds- shortly afterwards this historic former federal prison would be cleaned up and opened by the Park Department for public tours. The place then was a mess, and both Tom and I were sitting out in the rubble strewn exercise yard watching a scene where a stuntman was to take a high fall from one of the walls. I helped him (he had asked my assistance) with his new camera -he was having trouble unlocking some feature on it. He was planning to take pictures of the stunt, and as I said elsewhere, actors are no different than the fans. This acting assignment was prior to his “Happy Days” fame (Season 2: Going Home (1973) with young Brad Savage as his son). The next time he returned (Season 5: Dead or Alive (1976), the crew was really razzing him about his role on “Happy Days”, calling him Mr. Cunningham, etc. He was great about it. In fact I think he enjoyed it!
Marion Ross (Season 5: The Thrill Killers (1976)) was a sweetheart. She was Mrs. Cunningham; so kind, thoughtful, and caring. I was sitting next to her on a couch located in the interior of a home we were filming at in the Potrero District of San Francisco. My father had passed out on the set a week earlier due to heart problems and had been in the hospital. That particular day he had been released and came down on the set with my mother. There was a great deal of excitement by the crew at his return, and Marion, not privy to the circumstances, was curious what the fuss was all about. I told her the details and could see the compassion in her eyes as I related the story. She spent some time talking to me as a mother to her son. I can’t say enough kind words about Marion.
Just as an aside- recently in watching “The Best of the DEAN MARTIN Show” I was reminded at one point in the series that Tom Bosley was a regular in the comedy sketches.
Tom Bosley on The Dean Martin Show
Tom passed away in October of 2010 at the age of 83. Thanks Tom and Marion for such great memories…you certainly were two memorable people!
Tony Piazza is author of the 1930s Hollywood murder mystery novel, “Anything Short of Murder,” which had its roots on the TCM fan website. His second novel, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” was next released early 2012, and in July of 2013, his latest Tom Logan Mystery, “A Murder Amongst Angels” was published and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. A new Tom Logan novel has been completed and is scheduled to be released in 2015. He was an actor/extra during the 1970s and worked with such legends as Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Karl Malden. His non-fiction e-book “Bullitt Points” is an in depth look at the making of “Bullitt” from a person who was there. Look for it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites, or at the link posted below. All profits go to the Boys Republic charity: www.bullittpoints.com.
Tony Piazza is a member of three prestigious writer’s organizations: Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the SLO NightWriters.
My earlier bestselling novels, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” and “Anything Short of Murder” now joins “A Murder Amongst Angels” on Amazon’s Kindle at a new, low price of $2.99. Now you can have hours of adventure, thrills, mystery, and romance for the price of a cup of coffee- and just as stimulating! Look for it on Amazon. Print versions have also been reduced.
Also: The new Tom Logan mystery thriller, A Murder Amongst Angels .
Find them all on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. Also available for $2.99 on Kindle.