Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Singing to a Bulldog" by Anson Williams

In this new book by Anson Williams ("Potsie" from Happy Days), readers will learn about his journey from being a janitor to actor, singer, director, etc. Mr. Williams tells his story giving a lot of attention to the man who inspired him - Willie Turner. Come, open this book and learn about a seemingly unrecognized job led Mr. Williams to the man who would guide and support him through some difficult times.

Anson Williams grew up in the 50's, with a critical father and a need to help his family financially. One of the jobs he had was that of assistant janitor under Willie Turner. Anson learned many life lessons from this gentle man, lessons that would help him become the person the world knows today. Willie had a hard life, but always gave Anson attention and encouragement, something this young man desperately needed. Some of the life lessons Anson learned from Willie comprise this book, each chapter a short part of the larger story. 

I really enjoyed this book. The contrasts between Anson's home life and work life were striking, and I grew to love Willie. Was he perfect? No, but he was an encourager. If you enjoy true stories that will teach you something, this book is for you. I received my review copy from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review.

Singing to a Bulldog
From Happy Days to Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There
By Anson Williams
Published by Reader's Digest
Hardcover: 176 pages
November 11, 2014; $14.99 US/$16.99 CAN; 9781621452256

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.
Author BioBest 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.
"Singing To A Bulldog is such a meaningful, fun, and uplifting book. I have such sweet memories of Anson . . . like millions of others, I loved him on "Happy Days." I am proud to be a little part of this wonderfully written, revealing, informative, and entertaining book. Praise and congratulations to Anson."
-- Dolly Parton
"I've always known Anson to be a great storyteller as well as a true and generous friend. Now he's written the most important story of his life -- about Willie Turner, the head janitor at one of Anson's first jobs, whose words of wisdom guided him through a turbulent time in his life and gave him the confidence to move forward to a successful career as an actor, television director, and entrepreneur. Even better, he's made it into a truly inspirational book of life lessons for the rest of us."
-- Ron Howard

No comments:

Post a Comment