Fast Facts

  • An aspiring actress at 13, she changed the spelling of her first name from "Marian" to "Marion" because she thought it might look better on a marquee.  
  • First acting job was at California's La Jolla Playhouse, where she worked under the tutelage of director Mel Ferrer. 
  • Named San Diego State University's Most Outstanding Actress while attending school there. 
  • Made her TV debut in 1953, playing an Irish maid in the comedy Life With Father; also made her big-screen debut that year in the comedy Forever Female.
  • First Broadway appearance was as Asia Booth in a 1958 production of Edwin Booth. 
  • Star-making role of Marion Cunningham on Happy Days was spun-off from an appearance in a 1972 episode of Love American Style.
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2001.


  • 1984, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1993, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1999, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1992, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1979, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series: Nominee


  • Paul Michael — Significant Other
  • Ellen — Mother
  • Alicia Erikson — Sister
  • Freeman Meskimen — Ex-husband
  • Jim Meskimen — Son
  • Ellen Plummer — Daughter
  • Gordon — Father


  • San Diego State University, San Diego, CA (Drama, 1950)

Next On TVSee all »


  • Birth Name: Marian Ross
  • Birth Place: Albert Lea, MN
  • Profession: Actor

Trending TonightSee all »

Watch This

10 Oscar Couples You Forgot Were A Thing

Matt Damon dated a Stranger Things star in 2000.