You may remember him as Potsie Weber from Happy Days -- pal of Richie, Ralph and the Fonz. Now meet him in person. Anson Williams is the author of the just published Singing to a Bulldog (published by tenant Reader’s Digest).
Stop by the RiverCenter Auditorium at 11:30am for a Q & A session followed by his book signing from 12pm to 1:30pm in the Atrium. Books will available to purchase for the discounted price of $10 (cash only please.) This is the perfect present for the Happy Days fan on your list.
ANSON WILLIAMS RELEASES INSPIRING NEW MEMOIR, SINGING TO A BULLDOG: FROM “HAPPY DAYS” TO HOLLYWOOD DIRECTOR, AND THE UNLIKELY MENTOR WHO GOT ME THERE
“You gonna do somethin’ great in life. Just a feelin’ I got.” These are the words from a janitor, Willie Turner that changed Anson Williams’ life. His memoir Singing To A Bulldog: From “Happy Days” To Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There, on shelves now, reveals the inspiring journey he took from janitor to becoming an actor, singer, director, producer and entrepreneur.
For ten years, viewers knew him as Potsie on the acclaimed television show “Happy Days,” but Williams traces his Hollywood success back to Willie Turner, the head janitor and his boss at Leonard’s Department Store in Burbank, California. Willie was an African American man in his mid-fifties, illiterate and an alcoholic, but his insightful words of wisdom guided fifteen-year-old Williams through a turbulent time in his life. His never-before-revealed stories are both uplifting and entertaining, and Williams credits the people he met who influenced him along the way, including Shailene Woodley, Elvis Presley, John Lennon and country singer Dolly Parton, but most of all, how the advice from Willie pushed him forward during his younger, tough years.
Throughout the book, Williams shares the lessons that Willie taught him in the “DeTalk Room,” a small janitorial space with rusted oil drum cans as makeshift chairs, where he would impart lasting words of wisdom to the young Williams, who carried these valuable lessons through his career and his life. From staging a sit-in at the powerful IFA talent agency until he got a meeting (and a job!) to almost turning around after his car broke down on the way to the “Happy Days” audition, Williams highlights the inspiring ways Willie encouraged him to keep trying and move forward on his path.
“Willie was my teacher, mentor and friend. His guidance and support were instrumental in helping me get to where I am today,” said Williams. “I wrote Singing To A Bulldog to continue Willie’s legacy, pay his important lessons forward, and inspire others to find their Bulldog Moment – the moment when they stop looking at their mountain and start climbing it.”
Williams offers a behind-the-scenes look at the “Happy Days” phenomenon, and describes his own Bulldog Moment when he began to climb his mountain and build on his success: Garry Marshall agreed to let Williams’ character sing in a band on the show, telling him, “I’ll have ya sing to a bulldog. If you’re not good, I’ll get laughs, and if you’re good, I’ll still get laughs.”
Williams also highlights the time a little known actor named Robin Williams came to the set at the last minute to save an alien-themed episode with “the worst script ever,” and when an unannounced visitor turned out to be John Lennon and his son, Julian, who wanted to see the set of his favorite television show.
Williams details how he moved beyond acting to directing and producing with the help of his friend Ron Howard, who helped him land his first job directing an after-school special and how Sammy Davis, Jr. helped Williams take his musical career to the next level. From Frankie Valli to Brad Pitt and Bette Davis to Aaron Spelling, Williams candidly recalls the great – and not-so-great – moments of his career. Throughout it all, Willie’s truths consistently show that even the seemingly most ordinary people can inspire you to do extraordinary things. He continues to detail how he took Willie’s advice and lessons in Hollywood to hone his entrepreneurial skills to build the successful StarMaker Products, an international product business.
Singing To A Bulldog: From “Happy Days” To Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There is available for $14.99 wherever books are sold. For more information, follow Anson Williams on Facebook, Twitter (@Singing2Bulldog) or search #SingingToABulldog.