Anson Williams played Potsie on "Happy Days" for all of the show’s 11 seasons. Later moving behind the camera as a director and producer, Williams has written a memoir about his amazing journey called "Singing to a Bulldog: From ‘Happy Days’ To Hollywood Director and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There."
“I started thinking about it and I realized there would be no stories without a man by the name of Willie Turner, because without him I wouldn’t be here today,” said Williams. “I got a job as an assistant janitor at a Leonard’s department store and my boss was a man by the name of Willie Turner. He was Afro-American, 50-something years old, illiterate and an alcoholic. And yet this man was the man that changed my life.”
Williams learned many life lessons from Turner, some of which he carries with him to this day.
“You don’t look to the mountain, you climb the mountain. That’s who wins,” he said. “Cause how many people do you know they look at the mountain, ‘Well I could have,’ instead of just going for it, move forward big time.”
Talking about his time on the “Happy Days” set, Williams went on to describe how he came up with the unique title of his memoir: “Singing to a Bulldog.”
“I found Garry Marshall… So I had 60 seconds to sell him on my whole future. I said, ‘You got girls, you got cars, you need a band on the show. We need music, we can open up at Arnold’s. You know Richie, Potsie we can be in the band, and I sing.’ I go ‘It’d be really good for the show.’ And he goes, ‘I used to be a drummer. Yeah maybe, not a bad idea. Yeah let’s try it, I’ll put it in this frat show, you go pick a song with Bobby. You’re in charge of that,’” Williams explained. “Then he starts to walk away, he looks back at me, ‘But you’re singing to a bulldog.’ I go why? He said, ‘Well if you’re good I get laughs, if you’re bad I get laughs.’ So there I am the first episode, and I’m singing to a bulldog.”
Anson Williams’ book “Singing to a Bulldog: From “Happy Days” to Hollywood Director and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There” is available now.