Who is Anson Williams?
Anson William Heimlich is an actor, singer and director, perhaps best recognized for his role as Warren Potsie Weber in the TV sitcom “Happy Days”. As a TV director, he has worked on several popular shows, including “Beverly Hills, 90210”, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Lizzie McGuire”. He was born under the zodiac sign Libra on September 25, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, USA, of Hungarian and Russian descent. Anson will be 72 years old as of 2022 and has American nationality.
Early life and family
Anson was born in a Jewish family – to Rosalind Horowitz and father Haskell Heimlich, who legally changed the surname to ‘Heimlick’.
According to sources, Anson was fascinated by TV shows and movies from an early age and spent most of his time in front of the black and white TV screen.
As for his education, he attended Burbank High School where he showed an interest in sports and served as captain of the track team. In addition, Anson got the acting bug, which led him to act in several plays at his school.
He emerged as one of the top students and after his entrance exam in 1967 it was suggested that he take an academic path and enroll in a university. However, that never happened – Anson chose to pursue a career as an actor rather than continue his education.
Career as an actor
Anson made his tv debut in 1971, playing Steve Baggot in an episode of the legal drama series “Owen Marshall Counselor at Law,” and over the next three years he appeared on several shows, including “The Paul Lynde Show,” “Bridget Loves Bernie,” ” Marcus Welby, MD”
In 1974, he played Brian Morris in the TV movie “Lisa Bright and Dark”, and appeared in a McDonald’s commercial with John Amos. The same year, Anson was cast as Potsie Weber, one of the main characters in “Happy Days”, the sitcom which was initially titled “Love, American Style”.
Set in Milwaukee, the show follows teenage Richie Cunningham and his family as they navigate day-to-day activities. Shared the stage with Ron Howard, Marion Ross and Tom Bosley, Anson appeared in 255 episodes during the show’s 11-season run, which ended in 1984.
Initially, the show had a rocky start, open to average reviews, but fortunes changed after the second season aired, introducing a new format that emphasized broad comedy, and focused on the role of a previously minor character, Arthur. “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, played by Henry Winkler. Shortly thereafter, the show’s ratings skyrocketed as ‘Fonzie’ became a huge star, bringing attention and popularity to the rest of the cast. “Happy Days” became one of the most successful series in the 1970s, becoming the second longest-running series of all time. It also spawned several spin-offs such as “Lavern & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy”.
While filming “Happy Days”, Anson made several one-episode appearances in other TV series, including “The Love Boat”, “The Hanna-Barbera Happy Hour” and “Fantasy Island”. In 1984, he starred as Nick Bellows in the made-for-TV movie “I Married a Centerfold,” and began considering dipping his toes into other avenues of the entertainment industry.
In 1992 he returned in the TV “Happy Days Reunion Special”. Focusing on his career as a director, he appeared in a few varied shows throughout the rest of his acting career. In 1995, he had a small role in the children’s TV series “Fudge”, followed by his appearance in the sitcom “Boy Meets Girl”. He kicked off the new millennium, playing Councilman McKenna on the hit series “Baywatch”.
In 2004, he appeared again as Potsie Weber, in “Sabrina The Teenage Witch”, and in 2005 he again shared the screen with his fellow cast members in the “Happy Days: 30th Anniversary”. His last acting credit was in 2016 – Anson played Clayton in an episode of the series “The Odd Couple”.
Career as a director
He launched his career as a director in 1985, collaborating on the “ABC Afterschool Special”. Over the next decade, he directed several episodes for various shows and TV movies, including “Hooperman”, “Just the Ten of Us” and “Little White Lies”. Anson continued to build his career with numerous other projects, such as “Fudge”, “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules the Legendary Journeys”. His most notable directorial efforts in the late ’90s included the mega-popular soap opera “Melrose Place”, the teen drama series “Beverly Hills, 90210” and the sitcom “Sabrina The Teenage Witch”. In the first decade of the new millennium, he directed “Baywatch”, “Charmed” and “Lizzy McGuire”, among others, and from 2008 to 2013, he directed 31 episodes of the teen drama series “The Secret Life of an An”. American Teen”.
A versatile person, Anson dipped his toes into entrepreneurship, opening a chain of restaurants, “Big Al’s”, along with its “Happy Days” counterpart Al Molinaro, but failed.
After going through an extremely challenging time, the priorities were made crystal clear. One of these is taking over…
He then teamed up with famed makeup artist JoAnna Connel and launched a skincare and makeup brand titled “Starmarker Cosmetics”.
In 2014, he published the memoir “Singing to a Bulldog: From “Happy Days” to Hollywood Director and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There,” offering an inside scoop on his career and interesting moments.
Anson also became a spokesperson and shared his views and opinions at the US Patent and Trademark Office’s National Trademark Expo, which was held in April 2018.
In 2017, he was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer and soon after had two successful surgical procedures; his recovery lasted three months, after which he received a clean bill of health from his doctor.
On the positive side, this struggle with the disease had an effect on his attitude and perspective in life, saying in the interview with “Tight”: ‘I had to re-prioritize my life. It became beneficial for me because I became so much stronger about what I believe in. I learned to have a deeper appreciation for my family. I always knew I loved them, and they were important, but now it’s on a whole new level.”
While not much information is available on Anson’s dating history, he is known to have walked down the aisle twice. He met his future first wife, Lorrie Mahaffey, on the set of “Happy Days” – she played the character named Jennifer Jerome, who played the past two seasons.
When they met they clicked right away and they started dating; they married on November 19, 1978 and welcomed a child whose name they never made public.
Anson and Lorrie divorced in 1986, allegedly due to Anson’s infidelity as he was having an affair with Jackie Gerken, and with whom he began a relationship after his divorce, which only added to the rumours. Jackie and Anson married in 1988 and had five daughters, Stella, Jessa, Gabriella, Olivia and Hannah.
In September 2019, the public was shocked to learn that Anson had filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage due to irreconcilable differences. He didn’t go through with it though, as they tried one more time, but it seemed they couldn’t resolve their issues, and in June 2020 Anson came again archived for a divorce. Talking to a media outlet, he revealed: “Despite all the effort to fix things or take them into account, and as difficult as it may be, sometimes you have to do what’s best for everyone.” A month later, he changed his mind and again asked to be fired – it remains a mystery why Anson filed for divorce twice.
“Happy Days” Lawsuit
In 2011, Anson along with his co-stars of the show, sued the CBC for breach of contract, alleging that the TV broadcaster and the owner of the show had failed to pay them the money they received from merchandising revenue.
Under their contract, the cast would receive five percent of the proceeds from merchandise sales if their images were used and 50 percent if their group images were used. However, CBS disagreed, claiming they owed them nothing; after they filed a lawsuit, CBS admitted they owed them about $9,000 each. The judge ruled that the cast would not get the millions they expected, and CBS asked for the case to be dropped. However, the judge denied it and ordered CBS to pay them $65,000 each and legally required the company to resume the proceeds of additional trading proceeds.
Physical stats and hobbies
Anson is 5ft 10ins high (178 cm) and weighs about 65 kg. His hair is black, further decorated with blue eyes.
When he was younger, he was a big fan of comic books and superheroes. In his spare time he likes to play billiards and golf because he has a competitive nature.
He loved to drink beer for most of his adult life, but had to stop due to health problems.
He has been an avid animal lover from an early age – when he was a child, Anson had a dog, and now he has two.
Anson also developed an interest in flying, as he still likes to fly privately, and at one point he wanted to get a license to fly his own plane, but that never happened.
What is his net worth?
As of 2022, estimated net value is approximately $1.8 million, which he has earned through his career as an actor, director and entrepreneur.
It seems that he is not a fan of social platforms. He reportedly had a Twitter account, but he deleted it.