Henry Winkler adored Fonzie's soulmate but said he "straightened out too much"

"Beautiful, delicate, majestic," Winkler described Linda Purl.

Everett Collection

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In the Happy Days episode "Going Steady," Fonzie shocked the world by deciding he was ready to settle down.

This was the moment that signaled the final shift in the Fonz's character, as he falls for Ashley, a single mom played by actor Linda Purl. The actor who played the Fonz, Henry Winkler nearly swooned when he described Purl to the Television Academy as "a beautiful, delicate, majestic young woman. Really fabulous."

He said before Purl came along, Fonzie "was a player," snapping his fingers at women in a macho move that Winkler warns does not have at all the same effect on the ladies in the real world.

But Happy Days fans had already met Purl before she joined the cast in 1982 to play Fonzie's soulmate.

In the second season premiere, "Richie Moves Out," Purl played Richie's love interest, a gum-chewing girl named Gloria. In an interview with Pop Goes the Culture TV, Purl explained how she first got cast on Happy Days as Richie's girl. She said she was already friends with Ralph Malph actor Donny Most, and when she moved to town, he told her he couldn't guarantee that he could help her get a role, but he said, "Well, you know, come on down and meet the casting people."

The casting people liked Purl, and she appeared as Gloria for a handful of episodes in the second season. "It was such a fun set right from the get-go," Purl said.

Then she disappeared, as Richie moved on, which you might just chalk up to the nature of the show. However, Purl said she recalled there was a reason why her character got cut — and it's actually pretty funny.

In "Richie Moves Out," we first meet Gloria sitting on the couch next to Richie. When he goes to make a move, she stops, worried about disrespecting his family in their home.

Richie assures her his parents are sleeping, and here's where she makes the fatal move for the character: Gloria removes the gum she's been chewing in order to make out with Richie.

Purl said there were people at the network just repulsed by this unsanitary display on such a squeaky-clean show. They were completely grossed out by this girl holding a piece of chewing gum onscreen in an otherwise romantic scene.

However, the casting people remained as enchanted by Linda Purl as Winkler was, and when it came time to cast Fonzie's greatest love, she returned to take that second role on the show.

Winkler wasn't exactly fond of how his character went from this rebellious type getting all the girls to someone with the straight-ahead moral compass of Mr. C.

"I think he straightened out too much toward the end," Winkler said. "He became a teacher. He kind of settled down. I changed my T-shirt from white to black."

Other than that, though there was still plenty of Fonz left in the end, he said. "I think basically he stayed the same," Winkler said.

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Ciara 1 month ago
I really liked them together. People change, that's life. A player won't necessarily stay a player all his life. I wanted them to stay together. They did the same with MacGyver. Just because he was a 'lone ranger', they cut his soulmate
JDnHuntsvilleAL 3 months ago
I agree with Henry about Linda -- absolutely love her -- but hated that Ashley was Fonzie's girlfriend. Just wasn't right.
Mark091 4 months ago
Another Suggestion for a Happy Days
Ad is this: Who was the first NERD on Happy Days?
Was the first NERD on Happy Days
Moose Barry Greenberg
Eugene Belvin Denis Mandel
Melvin Belvin Scott Bernstein
Potsie Anson Williams
Ralph Malph Donny Most
RICHIE Cunningham Ron Howard
Roger Phillips Ted McGinley
Bag Zombroski Neil J Schwartz
Or was the first NERD on Happy Days
FONZIE Henry Winkler (when the
Announcer says Henry Winkler
Then a scene from season 8
( FONZIE VS the She Devil's) is seen
Showing FONZIE disguised as a
Need named ARTIE
Another Suggestion for a Happy Days
Promo is Who was the best basketball player on Happy Days
Was it RANDOLPH Roberts as
Chuck Cunningham
Gavan O Herlihy as Chuck CUNNINGHAM
Ted McGinley as Roger Phillips
Ron Howard as RICHIE Cunningham
Or Donny Most as Ralph Malph
Another Suggestion for a Happy Days
Ad would be Who was the best
Practical Joker on Happy Days
Ralph Malph Donny Most or
Bag Zombroski Neil J Schwartz ??
Mark091 4 months ago
I like the Chuck Cunningham Happy
Days promo on Me TV..The promo
Says what happened to Richies
Older brother Chuck Cunningham
Why did he dissapear from Happy Days Scenes of Gavan O Herlihy and Randolph Roberts playing Chuck
Are Shown and then Me TV asks the
Question or did someone (Garry Marshall) have Chuck Cunningham
Written out of the show,
Mark091 Mark091 4 months ago
I have suggestions for other Happy Days ads on MeTv,:
The mystery of the four persons
Who played the drums in Richie's band
Why did RICHIE Cunningham have four persons playing the drums in Richie's band
The four persons who played the drums in Richie's band were
Bag Zombroski Neil J Schwartz.
Sticks Downey John Anthony Bailey. Daphne Hillary Horan
And Chachi ARCOLA Scott Baio
Did RICHIE have trouble finding
A person to play the drums with
The right beat?
MeTv viewers is your favorite person to play the drums in Richie's band BAG Zombroski
Sticks Downey or Chachi?
Mark091 Mark091 4 months ago
I left out DAPHNE Hillary Horan
For which person do you like
As the best person to play the drums in Richie's band?
LittleMissNoName 4 months ago
The problem with this relationship, was she ended up dumping him! In other words, Fonzie was obviously not a cool ladies man like the show kept hyping him up to be for however many seasons up to that low point. The whole relationship was just a really stupid idea, or just another Miller-Boyett lame brain stunt.

Better idea, would have been to bring Pinky Tuscadaro back to the show, ready to settle down after touring. Show could have ended with a double wedding.
Mark091 5 months ago
At the end of season nine of Happy Days Fonzie dated Cynthia Brannigan
Played by Marla Pennington
Cynthia tried to get Fonzie and the
Students to like classical music
Then Cynthia Brannigan goes to
The birthday party for Fonzie
And FONZIE meet the Lone Ranger
After the Lone Ranger episode of Happy Days Cynthia Brannigan
Dissapers Another victim of
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome??
It l
Mark091 Mark091 5 months ago
It looked like FONZIE was going
To settle down and go steady
With one woman(Cynthia Brannigan played by Marla
Pennington) However after only
Two episodes Cynthia Brannigan
Vanished into thin air
I wonder who made the best
Permodent girl friend for FONZIE
Cynthia Brannigan
Or Ashley Pfister AKA
Linda Purl
Which episode of Happy Days
On season two was the last
Episode appearance of
Linda Purl as Gloria
Was Gloria's last appearance
Mark091 Mark091 5 months ago
Was the last appearance of
Linda Purl as GLORIA in the
Season two episode Haunted
where Richie Cunningham takes GLORIA to the old Simpson house
laaa
Pacificsun 5 months ago
Everybody has to grow up! Even on a sitcom. Wonder if it was taking Winkler a little longer to do that himself.
Corey 5 months ago
Linda Purl is dating Patrick Duffy aka Bobby Ewing.
15inchBlackandWhite Corey 5 months ago
Silver Singles?
George57 5 months ago
The network made Fonzie too plain as he settled down after jumping the shark. After that I had no idea who was or was not a cast member. Then Joanie loves Chachi, yikes.
Mark091 George57 4 months ago
Joanie Loves Spike would have
Made a better spin off show than Joanie Loves Chachi
I think that Jenny Piccalo and
EUGENE BELVIN should have had their own spin off show
Chuck Cunningham BAG ZOMBROSKI Melvin Belvin and
KC Cunningham Moose and
Potsie and Ralph and Leather Tuscadero and Kat Mando
Should have had their own spin off shows also
Mark091 Mark091 4 months ago
Correction
Kat Mandu
15inchBlackandWhite 5 months ago
I quit watching Happy Days after it "jumped the shark". No idea Linda Purl was on the show. She looks way different than she did in Matlock.
Cynthia Brannigan played by
Marla Pennington played Fonzie's girlfriend on two episodes of Happy Days before
Linda Purl came on the show
PLAYING Ashley Pfister
Neither Cynthia Brannigan or
Ashley Pfister lasted long on
Happy Days
Pinky Tuscadero was on Happy Days for only three episodes
In season two of Happy Days
FONZIE almost married Maureen
(Nellie Bellflower) until he found
Out that she was the Lone
Stripper.
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