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Van Nuys Judge Gives 'Happy Days' Actress 120 Days in Jail

Sentencing: Roz Kelly, best known as Fonzie's girlfriend in series, could have gotten three years.

October 27, 2000|CAITLIN LIU | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ordering actress Roz Kelly to stay on her prescription medication and remain in anger-management counseling, a Van Nuys judge Thursday sentenced Kelly to 120 days in jail.

The 58-year-old North Hollywood woman, best known for her portrayal of Fonzie's biker girlfriend Pinky Tuscadero in the long-running TV show "Happy Days," was arrested Aug. 20 on suspicion of beating a man with her cane, which she uses because she's disabled.

Because Kelly was on probation for a 1999 conviction for shooting at two cars and shooting into a neighbor's home, she could have received three years in prison. But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp said she wanted to give Kelly "another opportunity" because of the circumstances of the probation violation involving a victim who could not be located by investigators.

Kelly had befriended the victim, a homeless man, who later frightened her, according to testimony. During Thursday's hearing, Kelly's landlord testified the actress had been so fearful of the man that she changed her locks twice to keep him out. On one occasion, Kelly was so distressed she asked if she could sleep in her apartment complex laundry room. The landlord felt sorry for her and let her sleep on his couch, he said.

Her attorney, Tony Pullara, asked the judge to take into account Kelly's "physical handicaps" and "mental problem."

In addition to her jail sentence, Schempp told the actress to continue taking her prescription medication for her bipolar condition, continue seeing her medical doctor, continue therapy, and not own or use any dangerous weapons, and wished her good luck.

With the 98 days Kelly has already served in jail and good behavior, she could go home in 15 days, Pullara said. Kelly, now unemployed, "is trying very hard to get back into acting" and would like to help other disabled actors, Pullara said.

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