Potsie’s playing politics.
Actor, singer and director Anson Williams, famous for playing the dimwitted yet eternally positive Warren ‘Potsie’ Weber on TV’s ‘Happy Days,’ is expanding his talents to the political arena and is hoping to become the next mayor of a California spa town.
In a recent city council meeting in Ojai, California, Williams announced his candidacy for mayor of the small city just west of Santa Barbara, according to local outlet the Ojai Valley News as reported by FoxNews.
During the council meeting’s public comment period, Williams, 72, stood up to speak and called for “leadership that inspires a collaborative team,” the outlet reported. ‘Potsie,’ still sporting a thick head of dark hair and a beaming, white-toothed smile, didn’t elaborate much on what that means, however, nor is it clear which political party he represents, if any. He is set to face incumbent Mayor Betsy Stix who is running for reelection.
Potsie for mayor: Anson Williams of "Happy Days" running for office in Ojai https://t.co/CFuFwWZug8
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) July 7, 2022
Williams became a household name playing”Potsie” Weber alongside Ron Howard’s Richie Cunningham and Henry Winkler’s Fonzie on “Happy Days,” which ran for a solid decade from 1974 to 1984. The popularity of the show spawned several spinoffs, such as “Joanie Loves Chachi,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy” which starred a then-unknown Robin Williams (no relation).
After “Happy Days” Anson Williams left acting for producing and directing. He produced the 1980 movie “Skyward,” starring screen legend Bette Davis and directed shows like “Lone Star Kid,” “No Greater Gift” and “Sea Quest,” according to the New York Post. In 2016 he released a memoir in 2016 titled, “Singing to a Bulldog: From ‘Happy Days’ to Hollywood Director and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There,” where he discussed his acting and singing days and how he pivoted to behind-the-scenes work. That same year he was diagnosed with colon cancer but announced he was cancer-free following surgery in 2017.
It appears Williams has support from his former ‘Happy Days’ co-star Winkler, who endorsed his mayoral bid, tweeting,”You have my vote.” Winkler has had a succesful post-‘Happy Days’ career both directing and acting and is now starring in HBO’s “Barry.”
Williams joins a list of actors who jumped into the political foray.
Fred Grandy, who played ‘Gopher’ on TV’s the ‘Love Boat’ became U.S. Representative from the State of Iowa and served for eight years. Singer Sonny Bono of ‘Sonny & Cher’ singing duo fame became mayor of Palm Springs, California, and later congressman for California’s 44th District. Bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governer of California after a recall of the previous governor and then won re-election. Ronald Reagan became California governor and the 40th U.S. President after a successful career in Hollywood. And real-estate mogul and reality TV show host Donald Trump became the United States’ 45th President in 2016.
If you live in Ojai and would like to join Williams as a candidate for mayor of the city, you will have to wait until July 18 to officially file papers to run when the city’s declaration of candidacy and nomination period begins and lasts until August 12.