Andy Griffith's TV kids dated each other on Happy Days

Happy Days brought together Opie from The Andy Griffith Show and Charlene from Matlock.

In Happy Days’ second season, Linda Purl played Richie Cunningham’s girlfriend Gloria across four episodes.

Playing Richie Cunningham was Ron Howard, who TV fans previously had watched grow up on The Andy Griffith Show as Opie Taylor, son of Andy Taylor.

While playing Opie, Howard very much looked up to Andy Griffith as a father figure, telling The Associated Press in 2012 that:

"Andy’s impact on my life and my approach to my work really can’t be measured. The balance that he sustained between focused, creative effort and this overt, playful enjoyment that he got out of working hard with people that he liked, doing a show he loved, was something that I hope I’ll always remember and emulate."

Purl would return to Happy Days eventually to play Fonzie’s great love Ashley Pfister, and after that, she too would get a chance to perform with Andy Griffith playing her father, this time on his hit series Matlock.

Purl was brought into Matlock after the series pilot film performed well, stepping into the role of Ben Matlock’s daughter Charlene Matlock specifically due to her "star power" from Happy Days.

"I did each series for a year, and I enjoyed them both," Purl told Gannett News Service in 1987.

But unlike Howard, who found working with Griffith to be one of the great joys of his lifetime, Purl was under-stimulated when working with writers and producers on Matlock.

She told the Kilgore News Herald in 1987 that she decided to quit the show because: "There wasn’t any unpleasantness, and neither money nor 'creative differences' had anything to do with it. It was simply that my role as Matlock’s daughter changed in almost every way after the pilot that attracted me to the series, and I wasn’t happy with that. The audience seemed to want to see more of Matlock in court and solving mysteries, and less of him as a family man, and that left me with less to do. I asked to be released, and the producers agreed, with no hard feelings."

Although Purl didn’t enjoy her time as Andy’s daughter as much as Howard liked playing Andy’s son, she soon found more gratifying work in gritty TV movies that required more from her than being "blonde and cute."

One thing that both Griffith’s TV kids got from him was a profound sense of appreciation for all the opportunities they were given.

Purl said she never tired of doing Matlock and considered it a "nice, comfortable job."

As for Howard’s time on The Andy Griffith Show, he borrowed the three words Andy Griffith used to say at the end of his shows when summing up how much his time spent acting with Andy had meant to him: "I appreciate it."

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PDCougar 6 days ago
I'm going to re-echo the question here about the changed background music, even though there were some attempts posted here to try to answer it. The thing is: The originally broadcast music WAS continued in syndicated reruns. For YEARS. The music switch occurred with releasing of the series on DVD sets, which -does- involve a different licensing agreement. Similarly, "Wonder Years" and "WKRP" did use the original background music during reruns -- for years -- but had to make adjustments when later being sold in the different medium of a DVD release. (They were/are the only ways for fans to hear the music as it was intended.) I just watched one of the Ron Howard/Linda Purl episodes on MeTV tonight, and it was profoundly jarring to suddenly hear a bunch of new, fake, and unfamiliar "'50s" music instead of the familiar tunes by Johnny Ray or Fats Domino that are supposed to be there.

MeTV has an advantage over home video in being able to air episodes with the original music. Sooooo.... why, MeTV, are you airing the DVD versions of "Happy Days" (with edits and cropping) instead of episodes that have been used for years on broadcast TV?
ELEANOR 7 days ago
That usually happens with kids who are acting on a show together. They have long hours on the set which virtually eliminates a normal social life, so they start dating each other.
LoveMETV22 8 days ago
Lol. The faces on Ron and Linda in the middle picture are an "insert phrase here" moment.
Andybandit 9 days ago
Good story. Linda Purl came on Happy Days to play Ashley, Fonzie's girlfriend. I didn't really like them together. In real life she is dating Patrick Duffy.
Cynthia Brannigan played by Marla Pennington was a
New girlfriend of Fonzie for
2 episodes only. Cynthia Brannigan was in the Lone
Ranger meets Fonzie episode and the episode where Fonzie and Cynthia tried to get the kids at Arnold's Drive in interested
In listening to classical music instead of listening
To Soft Rock Oldies only.
I wish that Cynthia Brannigan Marla Pennington had stayrd.
On HAPPY DAYS instead of
Appearing in 2 episodes only.I liked Linda Purl better playing Gloria .
justjeff 9 days ago
My comment about this article's topic: ***YAWN!***
Zip justjeff 8 days ago
Great! Now you made me ***YAWN!***

Isn't it funny how one person typing yawn can make another person type yawn?.
Michael justjeff 8 days ago
It is just a variation of the Linda Purl story, the last time it was that she dated Richie and Fonzupie, but at different times and a different character.
To quote Smokey Robinson: "I Second that Emotion" about this article being a snooze fest!
bagandwallyfan52 9 days ago
Why does Happy Days change
Background Music?
In the episode Richie Moves Out
Where Richie takes Gloria to the
Apartment of Chuck Cunningham(Randolph Roberts )
Richie puts a.record on the
Record player called Earth Angel
By The Penguins .Why was Earth Angel changed to an instrumental song ?On the
Guess Who's Coming To Christmas Episode Fonzie is
Listening to Wake Up Little
Susie in his apartment.
Latet Wake Up Little Susie was
Changed to an instrumental.
Why was the Background
Music on the Happy Days
Episode Crusin' changed
From an Everly Brothers
Song to an instrumental
At the beginning of the
Episode. Crusin' is the episode where Richie Cunningham Ron Howard
Makes a bet with BAG ZOMBROSKI (Neil J. Schwartz) on who can come up first with a date.
Potsie Anson Williams and
Ralph Malph Donny Most
Also agree to the bet with
Bag.
It likely has to do with music licensing. It can be very expensive. I know when Wonder Years finally aired it had an instrumental of With A Little Help From My Friends rather than the Joe Cocker version.
Let me answer that for you. All of those songs were licensed for use in the original broadcast, but not re-licensed for further use in syndication or for release on VHS or DVD. Why? Because the royalties would have been calculated on a different basis, and the rates would have been higher then. This was simply a cost-cutting measure and what probably prompted the producers or the network to commission a new theme song rather than continue to pay licensing for "Rock Around the Clock".

Licensing comes in two forms... the license of the original recording from the record company or companies, and the performance rights from the publishing company or companies.

My question: [just based on curiosity]

Why do you write in long columns of short broken sentences (like poetry) rather than in paragraph form? Is this done because you're more comfortable that way? As stated - just curious - not trying to cause any issues here...
bagandwallyfan52 9 days ago
Which episode of Happy Days
Did Linda Purl make her Last
Appearances playing Gloria?
The Last appearance of Gloria
Might have been the Haunted
Episode of Happy Days at the
Old Simpson House.
Linda Purl was listed as playing
Gloria in.the Big Money episode
Of Happy Days where Richie was
On a.game show called.Big Money hosted by Mr. Whippett
,(Dave Madden).
I did NOT see Gloria(Linda Purl)
In the Big Money episode of Happy Days.
My favorite supporting cast members of Happy Days during
Season 2 were :
Chuck Cunningham:Randolph
Roberts
Bag Zombroski: Neil J Schwartz
Spike:Danny Butch
Marsha Simms: Beatrice Colen
Wendy Misty Rowe
Trudy Tita Bell
Gloria Linda Purl
One of my Favorite cast members of Happy Days was
Moose played by Barry Greenberg and I liked
Chuck Cunningham 1 Gavan O Herlihy.
Happy Days
Big Money
Episode aired Nov 26, 1974
Linda Purl as Gloria "(credit only)" -Means she didn't appear
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0596160/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_i15
Runeshaper 9 days ago
Interesting read. Thanks, MeTV!
I wish that Moose (Barry
Greenberg) and Eugene Belvin (Denis Mandel)and
Melvin Belvin (Scott BERNSTEIN) had been on
Happy Days at the same
Time.MOOSE and EUGENE
And MELVIN BELVIN played by Scott Bernstein had been on HAPPY DAYS at the
Same time.
That would've been cool!
I just thought that MOOSE (Barry Greenberg) and
Eugene Belvin (Denis Mandel) and Melvin Belvin
(Scott Bernstein) would have been Good Friends if
Moose Eugene Belvin and Melvin Belvin had been on
Happy Days at the same time .
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