The happy days are over for Anson Williams. The 69-year-old actor, who played the lovable Warren “Potsie” Weber on the iconic 1970s sitcom Happy Days, filed for divorce from his wife, Jackie Gerken, in California Superior Court earlier this week, TMZ reports.
In a statement posted by TMZ, Williams cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split from his wife of more than 30 years.
“Despite best efforts to work things out or make allowances, and as difficult as it is, sometimes you have to do what’s best for everyone.”
Williams married Jackie, his second wife, in 1988, and they had four daughters together. The sitcom star also has a daughter from his first marriage to Lorrie Mahaffey.
The news of Williams’ divorce comes less than one year after he said his cancer diagnosis changed his outlook on life. The Happy Days star was diagnosed with Stage 2 colon cancer and underwent two successful surgeries to become free of the disease.
“It was the wake-up call I needed,” Williams told Closer Weekly last year of his diagnosis. “I needed to reprioritize my life. I learned to have a deeper appreciation for my family. I always knew I loved them and they were important, but now it’s at a whole new level.”
Williams shot to fame in the 1970s as Potsie, Richie Cunningham’s (Ron Howard) best friend on ABC’s Happy Days. While his character was a “nerd,” Williams was a real-life heartthrob at the height of the long-running sitcom’s success. In one particularly memorable Happy Days episode, Williams’ Potsie was the object of Joanie Cunningham’s (Erin Moran) affection. At one point, he serenaded her with the song “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.”
After Moran’s sudden death in 2017, Williams told Closer Weekly he had fond memories of her smile and kind spirit.
“She was just a joy. She was like a light bulb, lighting up everywhere she went,” he said.
After hitting the acting jackpot with Happy Days, Williams went on to become a TV director on shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Baywatch, Lizzie McGuire, and more.
In 2014, Williams penned his memoir, Singing to a Bulldog: From Happy Days to Hollywood Director and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There. In the tell-all, Williams detailed his journey from working as a janitor to becoming an actor, singer, director, producer, and entrepreneur. Williams is the man behind Alert Drops, an all-natural spray that helps drowsy drivers stay awake.