The bubbly star was a struggling comedy writer with no money when she decided to take a job in Eugene, Oregon and save up before moving back to Hollywood, but just before she was about to get on the bus and leave town, she landed a role on hit TV show Happy Days, as Shirley Feeney - the part that was to make her a household name.

She recalls, "I was waiting tables at the IHOP (diner chain) and after (movie) American Graffiti and a few other things, everything came to a standstill in my career, so I was thinking, 'Well, I'm going to move to Oregon... and get a job as a waitress for a year, save my money and then move back to Hollywood.'

"This came around the time that Penny (Marshall) and I got the Happy Days episode, playing Laverne & Shirley... I'd be still there (in Oregon), trying to save enough money to come back to Hollywood (if she'd left)."