Someone was making a fortune off of all the "Happy Days"-related t-shirts, trading cards, lunch boxes, games, dolls, greeting cards, and DVDs over the years - but it wasn't anyone on the cast.
At least not according to Anson Williams ("Potsie Weber"), Don Most ("Ralph Malph"), Marion Ross ("Marion Cunningham"), Erin Moran ("Joanie Cunningham") and the estate of the late Tom Bosley ("Howard Cunningham"), who are claiming that CBS (which now owns the show, despite "Happy Days" originally airing on ABC) has not paid them their share of merchandising revenue as detailed in their contracts.
It seems that the creation of "Happy Days" themed slot machines was the straw that broke the camel's back.
“It takes a lot to make me angry because so often my expectations are so low,“ Ross said in an interview with CNN. “But the other day someone came up to me and said, ‘You must be cleaning up on those casinos.’ And I said, ‘Well, what are you talking about?’ And he said, ‘If you get five Marions, you get the jackpot.“’
Reports indicate that the actors' contracts stipulated that they be paid 5% from the net proceeds of merchandising if their sole image is used and 2 1/2% if the group is used.
Attorney Jon Pfeiffer, who is representing the actors, told CNN:
“[The studio] made a promise to pay, they broke their promise — that’s breach of contract. Number two, they made a promise to pay, they purposefully didn’t pay, they broke their promise — the fraud. And here we have iconic actors. I mean, I grew up watching these people. And yet they got stiffed."
Moran recently lost her California home to foreclosure and has been going through financial difficulties - although she refused to elaborate in the interview.