Potsie for mayor? ‘Happy Days’ alum Anson Williams is running for office in Ojai
Potsie for … mayor? “Happy Days” actor Anson Williams is planning to run for office in his hometown of Ojai, Calif.
The actor-director, who played Richie Cunningham’s best friend, Potsie Weber, on the classic ABC sitcom starting in the 1970s, announced his candidacy during a June 28 Ojai City Council meeting, according to Ojai Valley News.
He made the remarks during the public-comment portion of the meeting and said that the Ventura County city needs “leadership that inspires a collaborative team.”
The publication also noted that candidates for all offices can formally declare candidacy on July 18 by pulling papers at the city clerk’s office for city races, or with the county clerk for races outside the city. Williams would be up against Ojai Mayor Betsy Stix, who is running for reelection.
The 72-year-old joins the likes of other entertainers with late-career political ambitions, including singer turned Palm Springs mayor Sonny Bono, filmmaker and former Carmel mayor Clint Eastwood and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Williams has not formally announced his candidacy on social media, and representatives for him did not immediately respond Wednesday to The Times’ request for comment.
However, “Barry” star Henry Winkler, who famously played Fonzie on “Happy Days,” has endorsed him.
“You have my vote,” Winkler tweeted Wednesday, replying to KABC-TV reporter George Pennacchio’s tweet about Williams’ potential run.
After “Happy Days” wrapped in 1984, Williams continued to work in Hollywood, largely behind the scenes as a producer and director, while notching a number of guest roles. In 1995, he told The Times that the show’s executive producer, Garry Marshall, encouraged his stars — including Ron Howard and Winkler — to study all aspects of filmmaking.
“He opened the doors of the Paramount lot so we could watch other directors direct, edit, whatever we wanted to do,” Williams said. “He thought it was very important for us to learn all sides of the business because we may not be acting all of our lives. We were young and we didn’t know what we wanted to do, so maybe another area would inspire you.”
Williams produced the hit 1980 NBC movie “Skyward,” directed by Howard and starring Bette Davis. He went on to direct the acclaimed “Lone Star Kid” for PBS, “No Greater Gift” for ABC and “seaQuest” for NBC, as well as several episodes of “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Deep Space Nine,” “Melrose Place,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Baywatch” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.”
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