Anson Williams (born Anson William Heimlich,[1] September 25, 1949 in Los Angeles, California[2]) is an American actor and director. He portrayed Warren "Potsie" Weber in Happy Days, a role for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. Now a prominent and much sought after television director, Williams has directed episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Diagnosis Murder, SeaQuest 2032, Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, FOX's Melrose Place and Beverly Hills, 90210, WB's Charmed and ABC-TV's Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

Life and careerEdit

Williams was born Anson William Heimlich. His father, Haskell Heimlich, legally changed the spelling of the family name to "Heimlick", unlike Williams' uncle, Dr. Henry Heimlich, namesake of the Heimlich maneuver for treating choking victims.[3] Williams attended Burbank High School, where he was captain of the track team and acted in multiple school productions. In 1971, he appeared with John Amos in a commercial for McDonald's.

In 1972, Williams landed the role of Potsie Weber in a segment of the comedy-anthology series Love, American Style titled "Love and the Happy Days", which also introduced Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard), Richie's mother Marion Cunningham (Marion Ross), and other characters that were spun off into the television series Happy Days. (Only Williams, Howard, and Ross reprised their roles for the spin-off).[4][5] The new series' first season, during which Williams received second billing after Howard, was centered mainly on Richie and Potsie. Eventually, as break-out character Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler) and Richie's mother, father, and sister became more popular, Potsie was joined by Ralph Malph (Don Most, who was merely a side character in season one), and Potsie and Ralph became inseparable.

Unlike Howard and Most, Williams was one of the few to remain through the entire run of the series, although his appearances became less frequent in later seasons. In some episodes, Richie, Potsie, and Ralph formed a band combo that performed at Arnold's Drive-In and other places. As Potsie, Williams actually sang lead vocals for the group. Williams' first wife, Lorrie Mahaffey, portrayed Potsie's girlfriend, Jennifer, in later seasons.

After Happy Days ended, Williams began a much more prolific career as a television director, starting with short programs for adolescent-age children, including afterschool TV specials "No Greater Gift" (1985) and "The Drug Knot" (1986), and TV-movie Lone Star Kid (1986). He has gone on to direct many episodes for a variety of television series, including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, seaQuest DSV, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Charmed.[2] He also directed several episodes of the TV series 7th Heaven.


  1. According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at
  2. 2.0 2.1 Anson Williams. Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Retrieved on 2011-08-03.
  3. Rose, David (2010). . Simon and Schuster. Retrieved on 2011-08-03. ISBN .
  4. Love, American Style: Love and the Happy Days/Love and the Newscasters. IMDb. Retrieved on 2011-08-03.
  5. Happy Days. IMDb. Retrieved on 2011-08-03.

External linksEdit