Sad Days: Tom Bosley Dead at 83

Linda Sharps
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First June Cleaver, now Mr. C from Happy Days? Oh man, what a heartbreaking week for beloved TV parents.

Tom Bosley, who most of us probably remember best as Ritchie Cunningham's father on Happy Days, died today in his Palm Springs, California home. He had just turned 83 on October 1, and had been battling lung cancer.

Before his television success (Happy Days debuted in 1974 and ran for 11 seasons), Bosley earned a Tony for his performance in the Pulitzer-Prize-winning 1959 musical Fiorello!, and after Happy Days, he went on to frequently co-star with Angela Lansbury in Murder, She Wrote. He also was the crime-solving priest on television's The Father Dowling Mysteries, which ran from 1989 to 1991.

His Happy Days costar Henry Winkler told Los Angeles's KNX-1070 News Radio:

I'm in shock, I really am. I spoke to him just a few weeks ago and he seemed to be getting his strength back.

Scott Baio, who played Chachi, told E!:

He was like everybody’s father on Happy Days. He was a good guy and he helped us all within the business and in terms of business. He was a professional and funny guy. I miss him.

Bosley had been married twice. His first wife, Jean, died in 1978 (they had wed in 1962). His second wife, the former Patricia Carr, survives him, along with their daughter, Amy.

Ron Howard has issued a statement about his television dad, saying:

Tom's insight, talent, strength of character, and comic timing made him a vital central figure in the 'Happy Days' experience. A great father and husband, and a wonderful artist, Tom led by example, and made us all laugh while he was doing it. My last conversations with Tom reflected the love of life and peace of mind that he always maintained throughout his full and rewarding life. I miss him already.

R.I.P, Mr. Bosely. I sure remember watching him on TV when I was a kid, do you?

Image via SplashNews


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