Linda Purl divorced Desi Arnaz Jr. right before ''Going Steady'' with the Fonz
Their marriage only lasted a year. A year later, Fonzie helped the Happy Days beauty move on.
When Desi Arnaz Jr. started dating as a teenager, the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz was frequently found with gorgeous models and TV stars on his arm.
Perhaps most famously, he dated Patty Duke when he was 17 and she was 23, an age difference his mother Lucy publicly disapproved of.
After Desi Jr. split from Duke, he next courted Liza Minnelli, whom Lucy also did not see as the best influence on her son.
It wasn't until Desi married Linda Purl in 1979 that he won his mom's approval.
Their wedding took place on a Sunday at a Los Angeles temple, with no celebrities surrounding them, except the ones they counted as their closest friends and relatives.
Purl today is likely best known to classic TV fans for playing Ashley Pfister, Fonzie's soulmate on Happy Days, a role she took on in 1982. But when she married Desi Jr., she had only performed in a few guest roles, still waiting for her big break as an actor.
It's likely Lucy liked this quieter star on her son’s arm, but for Desi Jr., their relationship seemed to start going downhill the moment that Purl got more involved with the Happy Days gang.
In 1980, Ron Howard and Don Most were promoting what The Austin American-Statesman called their "pet project," a movie called Leo and Loree.
In this movie, likely due to appearing several times on Happy Days in 1974, Purl was cast to play Most's love interest, the Loree to his Leo.
Just three months into her marriage to Desi Jr., when it came time to tour to promote the movie, Purl brought her new hubby along.
A reporter noted Desi's attendance at one media event, saying he looked "bored" and "made a choking noise" when someone asked Most if Happy Days might last as long as I Love Lucy.
It would seem that Purl's husband didn't love spending time with the Happy Days gang as much as his wife did, and by December 1980, within one year of their marriage, the pair called it quits.
When Desi Jr. married Purl, he had moved into her house, a residence formerly owned by Neil Diamond. After their divorce, Purl continued living there, unfazed by memories she said were locked up everywhere around her house.
She told The Gannette News Service in 1982 that their marriage ended on friendly terms.
Only lasting a year, her marriage didn't have the staying power that Happy Days had, and in its 10th season, Purl would finally get the big acting break she sought by joining the top sitcom's cast.
As Ashley Pfister, she became the first girl whom the girl-crazy Fonzie asks to go steady.
In 1980, Purl had said for her to get involved in a movie or TV show, "The topic has to be something I could be interested in, or I don't think I'd want to go into it."
Her interest in Happy Days had something to do with the fashion.
"It's been kind of fun to wear that ’60s clothing – the pointy shoes, the bangs and falls, the white lipstick," she told The Press-Gazette.
But it probably had more to do with the people she got to share scenes with and the lovable characters they played.
"I've always liked doing comedy," Purl said of joining the Happy Days cast. "Ultimately, you're still dealing with real people in a real situation."
We’re glad since things didn’t work out with Desi Jr., she had Fonzie's arms to fall into.
Although Purl and Arnaz separated amicably, they both took time to heal, with both waiting more than seven years before remarrying.