For many of us growing up, Marion Ross was the example of the ideal American mom on “Happy Days.” So, how appropriate is it that parents can now share their memories of Mrs. C. with their kids on Mother’s Day with The Hub Channel’s “Mom-A-Thon with Mrs. C”?
‘It’s amazing that ‘Happy Days’ has this endless life,” Ross tells Zap2it. “What I love about The Hub is that these are young children who don’t know anything about ‘Happy Days,’ so they’re being introduced to the show for the very first time.”
The Hub will be airing six back-to-back episodes of “Happy Days” featuring Mrs. Cunningham on Sunday (May 8) from 9 p.m. to midnight ET.
We had a chance to speak with Ross about what the “Mom-A-Thon” means to her and how she thinks television, and specifically TV moms, have changed since her day.
Tell us how kids and their parents may not realize that they’re already acquainted with you.
I’m SpongeBob SquarePants’ grandma. So, those little kids might know who I am. And, also, I’m on ‘Handy Manny.’ It’s a cartoon and I play Mrs. Lopart. So, I love to be able to span all these generations.
It’s difficult nowadays to find a show the whole family can watch, right?
It’s kind of tough. You know what’s sweet? A young man came up to me, his two little girls ran off, he came over to me and he had tears in his eyes. And he said that he grew up with ‘Happy Days.’ And I thought, ‘This is great. Now, if he can sit with The Hub and watch this again with these little kids, it would be great.’
Do you have any favorite moms on TV currently that you like to watch?
I love ‘Parenthood.’ And of course, I was on ‘Brothers & Sisters’ and I love Sally Field.
What’s the difference between TV moms of your day and today?
First of all, none of us had a car, the early TV moms. We always had our little dress with our pearls and you didn’t see us doing any work, of course, but it got done. We stayed home, we made meatloaf, you know? We were there for the family. We didn’t have a life of our own. We lived only for the family. At one time, in the 50s, the women’s lib movement was really coming along. And I said to Gary [Marshall], ‘Could we have some mention of the women’s lib movement in here?’ He said, ‘No, it’s all about the boys. You’re just fine the way you are.’ This was the boys’ fantasy of what they’d like mom to be.
So, you were willing to break some of those molds?
Oh, yes. During the time I was shooting ‘Happy Days,’ I was a divorced mother, professional actress, very independent — the opposite of Mrs. C. I enjoyed going to work and being Mrs. C. It was very retro.
The “Happy Days” “Mom-A-Thon with Mrs. C” airs Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8) on The Hub channel from 9 p.m. to midnight ET.