This weekend’s Dream Cruise will feature a blast from the TV Past.

Anson Williams, who played Potsie in “Happy Days,” will be out meeting and greeting fans along Woodward in Royal Oak.

Now in his 60’s and a father of five, Williams has gone on to a career as an entrepreneur and director. He is the owner of Starmaker Cosmetics and just finished up a five-year stint as the director of the ABC Family tv show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

But it’s “Happy Days” that is Williams’ most enduring legacy. When it debuted in the 1970’s, Williams said, “There were only three stations, no cable, no cassettes, you watched it and you watched right then and there, 8 o’clock Tuesday nights. I mean, we averaged 60 million people a week.”

Why was the show about a family in Wisconsin in the 1950’s so popular in the 70’s? Williams said he thinks it’s because people could relate to the characters.

“I remember once, someone from Africa, who couldn’t even speak English, was ga-ga over the show. It had nothing to do with his culture, but there’s something about the relationships that cross the board in every country and every culture. And honestly, I don’t know why. You can’t create that, it just happens.”

Overnight, Williams went from a young man who couldn’t get a date to a man flooded with offers. Yet, Williams said there were no egos on the “Happy Days” set. Everyone got along. Tom Bosley, he said, even helped him navigate his first mortgage.

So how did he avoid the angst and troubles suffered by so many other young stars? Williams said he followed the advice from show creator Garry Marshall about not believing the hype and buying into his newfound fame.

“You’re in it, but you should never be ‘of’ it,” said Williams of the advice. “It’s not who you are, it’s what you do.”

Williams will be meeting fans and signing autographs from 2 to 4pm at the Art Van Store on Woodward in Royal Oak.

Get more info in our Guide to Woodward Dream Cruise.


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