Growing up in 1950s California, young Anson William Heimlich showed very little promise. Clumsy, unsure of himself, and made to feel like a failure by his disappointed artist of a dad, Anson started working odd jobs as a teenager to help support his family. His boss at one of these jobs, an aging African-American janitor named Willie, unexpectedly became a mentor -- and the lessons he taught young Anson proved to be invaluable throughout his subsequent career as an actor, director, and entrepreneur.
In Singing to a Bulldog, Anson Williams (as he came to be known) relates both these lessons and the never-before-revealed stories of the many seminal TV series he has worked on and the famous (and not-so-famous) folks he's encountered during his 40 years in Hollywood, including:
- the day Robin Williams woke up Happy Days
- being directed by Steven Spielberg in his first dramatic role
- getting kidnapped by Gerald Ford's daughter at the White House
- subbing for Sammy Davis, Jr., as a headliner with Bill Cosby
- being humbled by Sunny, a young volunteer for the Cerebral Palsy National Organization
- being inspired by Shailene Woodley on the set of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and many more.
This compelling read has a cross-generational and broad appeal, combining all the fun of a celebrity memoir with the emotional impact of an inspirational bestseller. With Singing to a Bulldog, Anson Williams brings his gift of storytelling to a new medium in a book that is sure to touch readers' hearts and lives as profoundly as Willie once touched his.
Best known for his Golden Globe nominated role as Warren "Potsie" Weber on the series Happy Days, Anson Williams is also an award-winning television director and writer as well as a singer and producer. He has directed more than 300 hours of television for a variety of series, including Beverly Hills, 90210, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. He won the prized Humanitas Award for his writing, has been honored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and served on the board of the USO. Together with business partner JoAnna Connell, he founded StarMaker Products, an international product company. He lives with his wife and five daughters in Los Angeles, California.
I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw the cover and it was 'Potsie' from Happy Days. I knew his face right away, then it hit me. I didn't know much else about the actor other than that. I didn't even know his name, he was just 'Potsie". I definitely didn't know anything else he had done in tv or film.
What an accomplished man he truly is. I am so glad I learned more about his other directing and production achievements.
The best part of the book is the lessons he learned from his mentor, Willie. Each chapter is basically dedicated to a lesson, and Anson tells a story that connects the lesson to his life. He didn't necessarily learn each lesson right away, but they were still there at some point. It was really inspirational and powerful stuff.
I definitely think people will enjoy reading this book for far more than just the celebrity memoir part. The lessons are simply incredible.
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