Marion Cunningham (Happy Days character)

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Marion Kelp Cunningham
First appearance "Love and the Happy Days"
Last appearance "Passages Part 2"
Created by Garry Marshall
Portrayed by Marion Ross
Nickname(s) Mrs. C, Mrs. Cunningham, Mrs. Average
Gender Female
Occupation Unknown, waitress at Arnold's
Family Mother Kelp (mother)
Unnamed father
Spouse(s) Howard C. Cunningham (husband)
Children Richie Cunningham (son)
Joanie Cunningham (daughter)
Chuck Cunningham (son)
Relatives Roger Phillips
Flip Phillips
KC Cunningham
Sean Cunningham
Charles "Chachi" Arcola
Lori Beth Cunningham

Marion Cunningham (née Kelp) is a fictional character played by Marion Ross on the sitcom Happy Days. She is one of the three characters to remain on the show for all 11 seasons. She is also one of three characters to be played by the same actors on Love American Style as well as Happy Days (the others being Richie and Potsie).


Marion Cunningham is the wife of Howard Cunningham and the mother of Richie, Joanie, and (briefly) Chuck Cunningham; she is also like a surrogate mother to Fonzie. She is a housewife and does what housewife stereotypes normally do. She often calls Richie by his given name "Richard," and his friends by their real names, such as "Warren" (Potsie) and "Arthur" (Fonzie). The only character Marion does not call by his real name is Chachi. She is the only character in the show to address Fonzie by his real name "Arthur," which she always does affectionately.


  • Marion is referred to affectionately as "Mrs. C" by Richie's friends.
  • Marion once became frustrated by her life as a housewife and fell out with Howard about it. Fonzie encouraged her to work at Arnold's as a waitress but she insulted Al's menu and interfered with people's orders (see "Marion Rebels" from Season 4).[1]
  • Marion became worried that Howard would leave her for a younger woman after she found out that one of her friends left his wife for a younger woman. She tries to prove to him that she is still young at heart but she goes completely over the top, Salome-style (see "Marion's Misgivings" from Season 5).[2]
  • Marion once went to jail after crashing Howard's beloved DeSoto into Arnold's ( see "Marion Goes to Jail" from Season 7).[3]