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Anson Williams talks life after 'Happy Days' in his new memoir, 'Singing to a Bulldog'

The cover of

The cover of "Singing to a Bulldog: From Happy Days to Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There" by Anson Williams. Credit: The Reader's Digest Association,

As Potsie on "Happy Days," Anson Williams looked up to the Fonz. In real life, Williams' hero as a teenager was an alcoholic janitor named Willie Turner, whom he assisted at a department store.

It was Turner who mentored the insecure teen and inspired him to pursue a show-biz career. Williams shares memories of Turner and celebs in his new memoir, "Singing to a Bulldog" (Readers Digest, $14.99). (The title refers to a frat house gig where Williams and the "Happy Days" band sang to a canine.)

Though the book would be a poor doorstop (it's only 176 pages), it's briskly paced with plenty of juicy stories, such as the time John Lennon visited the "Happy Days" set and told Williams how much he liked his singing. There also are tales of dating first daughter Susan Ford, filling in for Sammy Davis Jr. at a nightclub show with Bill Cosby, and meeting Elvis Presley, who told Williams he also had a Willie Turner in his life.

Williams talks about life post-Potsie, his prolific career as a TV director and mentoring Shailene Woodley on the set of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Happy days, indeed.

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