This Week at PCA: Don Most

Although the world came to love him in the role of Ralph Malph on “Happy Days,” Don Most has worn many hats as an entertainer working in television, theater, film and music.

Performance is something that runs through Don Most’s blood.  Throughout the past five decades it is something Don has proved again and again in each step he takes along the pop culture journey.  The world first got to know him as Donny Most in the role of Ralph Malph on the iconic 70’s sit-com Happy Days.  Under his red locks and through his freckled face, Don was the wise cracking member of the Happy Days gang.  One of the most successful television shows of all time, Don had his face on everything from action figures to animated programs where he and Anson “Potsie” Webber played sidekicks to Ron Howard’s character Richie Cunningham and hung out with Henry Winkler’s enigmatic character, The Fonz.  But when Don Most left Happy Days in 1980, marking the end of the classic era of the series, he often found himself sitting in the shadow of Ralph, preventing him from getting the kind of acting roles that he wanted.  As a result, Don Most had to reinvent himself and his career.  Between taking guest starring roles on favorites like Love Boat, CHIP’s, Murder She Wrote and Baywatch, Don turned to voice acting, heater and directing as a way to continue a career in show business.

Still maintaining a strong fan following from his role in “Happy Days,” Don Most has recently turning to music, bringing his revue “Singin’ and Swinging’” to jazz clubs across America as he performs some of the great standards of the American Songbook.

Although still recognized as Ralph Malph today, with time distancing himself from his Happy Days character, Don has been popping back on the pop culture radar again.  Recently taking a reoccurring role on Glee as Jayma Mays’ father, Rusty Pillsbury, Don has made appearances on Bones and Men of a Certain Age and appeared in the independent films Chez Upshaw and Campin’ Buddies.

Now Don is turning another corner in his career by putting his focus in a new surprising venture that has taken fans by surprise.  Don Most has put together his own musical night club act, Singin’ and Swingin’.  Backed his own band and performing some of the great jazz classics from the American song book, Don Most has been taking his act to clubs from New York to LA, singing the songs that he loves and getting a warm reception from audiences.  Catching Don on the road between gigs, Don revealed to me that while we think of him as an actor, he really entered show business through song as a teenager.  Music is still something that has a strong hold on his heart, and now he is bringing the music he loves to his fans.

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