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'Happy Days' stars say they are owed money from merchandise

Get more: TV
04/19/2011 by Corinne Heller

Four cast members of the hit 1970s show "Happy Days" say CBS, which owns the show, has cut them out of millions of dollars made from selling products that bear images of their characters, including dolls, DVD covers and slot machines.

CNN reported that Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Don Most and Erin Moran are preparing to sue CBS for breach-of-contract and that the estate of Tom Mosley, who played Howard Cunningham and died last year at age 83, will also join the lawsuit.

"Somebody came up to me and said, 'You must be cleaning up on those casinos." And I said, 'Well, what are you talking about?' And he said, 'If you get five Marions, you get the jackpot,'" Ross, an 82-year-old actress who played Marion Cunningham, told CNN.

Under the actors' contracts, they were supposed to be paid 5 percent from the net proceeds of merchandising if their sole image were used and 2.5 percent if they were pictured with other cast members, CNN said, adding that CBS retained the right to deduct 50 percent off the top as a "handling fee."

CNN quoted CBS as saying that the network owes the actors up to $9,000 each for the past four years, adding: "We agree that funds are owed to the actors and have been working with them for quite some time to resolve the issue."

"Happy Days" aired between 1974 and 1984. Check out what the cast members have been up to in recent years.

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