John Travolta Auditioned To Play Fonzie in ‘Happy Days’

I Did Not Know That shared little-known information that, early in his career, John Travolta had auditioned for the role of Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in the 1970s sitcom series Happy Days. Originally, former Monkee Micky Dolenz was considered for the role, but he was too tall compared to Ron Howard. Travolta wanted the role but he didn’t want to go blond, which was an early requirement for the role.

Travolta said that when he read the script Fonzie was described as having blonde hair. He said he kept wondering if he’d have to dye his hair blonde if he go the part and he sounded like he wasn’t real crazy about that idea. He didn’t have to worry about it long because he didn’t get the part.

Eventually, Henry Winkler got the job, dark hair and all.

Travolta said that when happy days eventually came on the air and became a hit he saw the fawns had dark hair and thought i could have been the Fonz after all.

As it turns out, Travolta didn’t have much to worry about for too long as his star rose fast with Welcome Back, Kotter, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and much, much more.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.