Don Most

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Donny Most
Most as Ralph Malph in 1974
Born (1953-08-08) August 8, 1953 (age 70)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
EducationErasmus Hall High School
Alma materLehigh University (did not complete)
Occupation(s)Actor, singer
Years active1973–present
Known for
Morgan Hart
(m. 1982)

Donny Most (born August 8, 1953) is an American actor and singer, best known for his role as Ralph Malph on the television series Happy Days.

Early life[edit]

Most was born to a Jewish family[1] in Brooklyn, New York City. He lived in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in 1970. He attended Lehigh University for three years from 1970 to 1973, but did not graduate. Originally intending to study engineering, he changed his major to business after his first semester. He made plans during his junior year to spend the summer of 1973 in search of acting jobs in Hollywood before completing his studies at Lehigh. Instead, he landed the Ralph Malph role on his third audition and moved to California to pursue acting full-time.[2][3]


Acting credits[edit]

Most appeared on the 113th and final filmed but never aired episode of Room 222, entitled "Jason and Big Mo", in the role of Louie, the red-headed class wisecracker. David Jolliffe had handled the role of Bernie, the red-headed class wisecracker, for all prior appearances. Room 222 aired for the last time in January 1974, just as Happy Days began, and on the same network, ABC.

Most played jokester Ralph on Happy Days, regularly appearing up until the show’s seventh season and returned in the final season as a guest star. During the first season Most was more of a secondary character, billed only in the end credits, but by the second season he was front billed, as a primary character. Most has appeared in other film and television work. Film credits include Leo and Loree (1980), EDtv (1999), Planting Melvin (2005), and The Great Buck Howard (2008). He also made the regular round of guest appearances on TV shows like Emergency!, CHiPs, Baywatch, The Love Boat, Sliders, Star Trek: Voyager, Diagnosis: Murder, Yes, Dear, and Glee. He also made an appearance on Charles in Charge, alongside his former Happy Days co-star, Scott Baio. He plays a man who has just won the lottery and, as part of the cameo joke, he runs up to Baio and waving the winning ticket shouts, "It looks like happy days are here again!" (He also receives several looks from Baio that suggests familiarity throughout the episode.) He is sometimes credited as "Donny Most."

Most has also made stage appearances in plays like The Sunshine Boys with Robert Wuhl at Judson Theatre Company in 2017 [4] and Middletown at Bucks County Playhouse in 2019.[5]

Most performed as a voice actor on several Saturday morning cartoon series. Among these roles were: Ralph Malph on The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang (1980); Eric the Cavalier in Dungeons & Dragons (1983); and Stiles on Teen Wolf (1986–1989). Most had a cameo as himself in the fifth season Family Guy episode "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One" in 2007.

Music career[edit]

United Artists released Most's only pop album, Donny Most, in the fall of 1976; it did not chart. A single from the album, "All Roads (Lead Back to You)" b/w "Better to Forget Her" (aided by Most performing it on an episode of Happy Days) spent three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1976, peaking at #97; a second single, "One of These Days", was released as a promo to record stations only. Most released two other pop singles, "Here's Some Love" b/w "I'm Gonna Love Loving You" on the Venture label in 1978 and "I Only Want What's Mine", from the soundtrack of the film Leo and Loree (which starred Most and occasional Happy Days co-star Linda Purl) on Casablanca Records in 1980; neither record charted.

Most also performed vocals in several episodes of Happy Days, where Ralph was part of a band with Potsie Weber (Anson Williams) and Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard), and later Chachi Arcola (Scott Baio). Although Most primarily sang backup vocals (with Williams handling lead), he did sing solo on several occasions, most notably the episodes "They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They" and "Be My Valentine."

As of 2016, Most has switched to swing music, and released a Christmas CD, Swinging Down The Chimney Tonight on Summit Records; as of 2017, he was touring the U.S. in a show called "Donny Most Sings and Swings", performing a set of 1950s songs with a seven-piece backing band.[6]

The songs "Ooo Baby Baby" and "Smoke from a Distant Fire" were released in 2021, with plans to release a new, full length album sometime in the near future.

Personal life[edit]

Most married actress Morgan Hart (daughter of burlesque queen Margaret Hart Ferraro) in 1982. They have two daughters and live near Los Angeles, California.[7]

Happy Days lawsuit[edit]

On April 19, 2011, Most and four of his Happy Days co-stars, Erin Moran, Marion Ross, Anson Williams and the estate of Tom Bosley, who died in 2010, filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against CBS, which owns the show, claiming they had not been paid for merchandising revenues owed under their contracts. The cast members claimed they had not received revenues from show-related items, including comic books, T-shirts, scrapbooks, trading cards, games, lunch boxes, dolls, toy cars, magnets, greeting cards, and DVDs where their images appear on the box covers. Under their contracts, they were supposed to be paid five percent from the net proceeds of merchandising if their sole image were used, and half that amount if they were in a group. CBS said it owed the actors $8,500 and $9,000 each, most of it from slot machine revenues, but the group said they were owed millions. The lawsuit was initiated after Ross was informed by a friend playing slots at a casino of a "Happy Days" machine on which players win the jackpot when five Marion Rosses are rolled.[8]

In October 2011, a judge rejected the group's fraud claim, which meant they could not receive millions of dollars in potential damages.[9] On June 5, 2012, a judge denied a motion filed by CBS to have the case thrown out, which meant it would go to trial on July 17 if the matter was not settled by then.[10] In July 2012, the actors settled their lawsuit with CBS. Each received a payment of $65,000 and a promise by CBS to continue honoring the terms of their contracts.[11][12]



Year Title Role Notes
1975 Crazy Mama Shawn (as Donn Most) action comedy film
1980 Leo and Loree Leo romance comedy film
1986 Stewardess School George Bunkle (as Donald Most) action comedy film
1993 Acting on Impulse Leroy


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Emergency! Fred Wilson (as Donny Most) Episode: "Computer Error"
1974 Police Story Arthur Kane (as Donny Most) Episode: "Explosion"
Room 222 Louie (as Donny Most) Episode: "Jason and Big Mo"
1975 Huckleberry Tom Sawyer (as Donny Most) Television film
1976 Petrocelli Will Johnson (as Donny Most) Episode: "The Pay Off"
1978 With This Ring James Cutler (as Donny Most) Television film
ABC Weekend Specials Henry Cooper Episode: "The $100,000 Bill"
1979 Greatest Heroes of the Bible Daniel (as Donny Most) Episode: "Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar"
Angie Coffee shop customer (uncredited) Episode: "The Adjustment"
1981 Aloha Paradise Lurp (as Donny Most) Episode: "Sydney's Old Flame / Everett and The Wolf / Lurp's in Love
1980-1981 The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang Ralph Malph (voice) Episode: "King for a Day
Episode: "May the Farce Be with You"
Episode: "Arabian Knights"
Episode: "Bye Bye Blackbeard"
Episode: "Westward Whoa!"
Episode: Ming Fu to You, Too!"
Episode: "The Vampire Strikes Back"
Episode: "You'll Never Get Witch"
Episode: "The 20,000 Drachma Pyramid"
Episode: "It's a Jungle Out There"
Episode: "Gone with the Wand"
Episode: "Science Fiction"
Episode: "Greece Is the Word"
Episode: "The French Correction"
Episode: "Kelp!"
Episode: Time Schlep"
Episode: "It's All Downhill from Here"
Episode: "Double Jeopardy"
Episode: "Fjords and Sorcery"
Episode: "There's No Place Like Rome"
Episode: "Perilous Pauline"
Episode: "Around the World in 80 Ways"
Episode: "All This and Timbuktu"
Episode: "Give Me a Hand - Something's Afoot"
1981-1982 Fantasy Island Kermit Dobbs
Todd Porter, Billy Williams
Episode: "The Artist and the Lady / Elizabeth's Baby
Episode: "King Arthur in Mr. Roarke's Court / Shadow Games"
1982 CHiPs Moloch (as Donald Most) Episode: "Rock Devil Rock"
1979-1983 The Love Boat Marv Prine (as Donny Most)

Keith Kelly (as Donald Most)
Episode: "Alaska Wedding Cruise: Buddy and Portia's Story / Julie's Story / Carol and Doug's Story / Peter and Alicia's Story: Part 1"
Episode: "Alaska Wedding Cruise: Buddy and Portia's Story / Julie's Story / Carol and Doug's Story / Peter and Alicia's Story: Part 2"
Episode: "The Family Plan / The Promoter / May the Best Man Win / Forever Engaged / The Judges: Part 1"
Episode: "The Family Plan / The Promoter / May the Best Man Win / Forever Engaged / The Judges: Part 2"
Episode: "The Zinging Valentine / The Very Temporary Secretary / Final Score"
1974-1983 Happy Days Ralph Malph (as Donny Most) 167 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1999 Marco Island Film Festival Scarlett Award Won
2007 Newport Beach Film Festival Achievement Award Director Moola Won
2019 EQUUS Film Festival Best Picture MBF: Man's Best Friend Won
2021 International Christian Film Festival Best Supporting Actor: Feature Film Lost Heart Won
2021 ICVM Crown Awards Best of Festival MBF: Man's Best Friend Nominated
Best Narrative under 250k Won


  1. ^ Bloom, Nate (September 16, 2008). "Jewish Stars". Cleveland Jewish News.
  2. ^ Longsdorf, Amy. "Happy Days star reflected on days at Lehigh University for new film Moola," The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), Sunday, May 11, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2016
  3. ^ "Donny Most Bio". Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Sunshine Boys is a Must See: Sandhills Sentinel Review". 20 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Love, life & friendship". 15 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Don Most | MUSIC". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  7. ^ Martin, Douglas (January 30, 2000). "Margaret Hart Ferraro, Burlesque Queen, Dies". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Zamost, Scott (April 20, 2011). "'Happy Days' actors claim fraud, money owed for merchandising". CNNMoney.
  9. ^ Gardner, Eriq (June 5, 2012). "'Happy Days' Actors Win Key Ruling in CBS Lawsuit". The Hollywood Reporter.
  10. ^ Scott, Zamost (June 5, 2012). "'Happy Days' cast members' lawsuit heading for trial". CNN.
  11. ^ Daley, Sean (August 6, 2012). "Chachi done with broke Joanie". New York Post.
  12. ^ Zamost, Scott (July 7, 2012). "'Happy Days' actors settle lawsuit with CBS". CNN.

External links[edit]