A lot of TV sitcom stars have to deal with being typecast. It happened to “Happy Days” star Don Most, keeping him out of work.
“I went six months, I couldn’t even get an audition for a film or anything like that,” Most said in a 2021 interview with Harvey Brownstone. “It definitely was a challenge. But, you know, I just kept plugging away and I started doing theater.”
He told Brownstone that he could not even get an audition because of his association with “Happy Days.”
“It was very difficult,” Most, who left “Happy Days” after his contract was up after seven seasons. “One of the reasons was I felt like I had been playing that character for seven years and I was already getting typecast and all that. That’s not who I was. I was not like that character and as an actor, [and] I wanted to play different roles.”
He wanted to have different roles but couldn’t get them and Most admits “it was tough” not to go back.
“[So] I went, you know, like months” without any auditions or work.
Most told his agent that he just wanted to try and do film and theater after leaving “Happy Days.” He also made it clear that he did not want to do any TV roles unless they were in a movie for television or a miniseries.
‘Happy Days’ Star Wanted To Do More Dramas, Wasn’t Interested In Comedy
Most originally grew up on the East Coast, a kid from the New York City area. He remembers that when he first came out to Los Angeles, his early roles leaned toward a more dramatic flavor.
“I was much more interested in doing drama than comedy,” the “Happy Days” star said. “So I landed a couple of roles, one was on a show called ‘Emergency!’ where I played a guy who became paralyzed in a car crash.” He also picked up a spot on NBC’s “Police Story,” where Most said he played a “sort-of psychopathic mad bomber.”
Then Most landed his role as Ralph Malph on “Happy Days.”
“Obviously, it was a comedy,” he said. “It became so successful it became difficult for a while for me to even be considered for the dramatic role.”
Most eventually would indeed find work in the theater world. In fact, there was a point where Most and another classic TV star, Judy Norton, appeared on stage together.
Most and Norton were in a production of Jerry Herman’s classic musical play “Hello, Dolly!” in 2016 in Galveston, Texas. That’s according to an article in The Houston Press.
In the production, Norton played Dolly, originally played on Broadway by Carol Channing and on film by Barbra Streisand. Most played Horace Vandergelder, whom Walter Matthau of “The Odd Couple” fame played on film.