Saturday, October 31, 2015
Al Molinaro is one of my favorite character actors.
From NY Daily News: Al Molinaro, the actor best known for playing diner owner Big Al Delvecchio on “Happy Days,” died Friday, according to reports. He was 96 years old.
The cause of death was a complication from gallstones Molinaro had decided not to have surgically removed due to his age, Molinaro’s son told TMZ. Molinaro died in a California hospital.
The actor appeared from 1974 to 1984 on the classic ABC show about the Cunningham family and 1950s Milwaukee as the friendly but irritable chef-turned-owner of Arnold’s Drive-in. Delvecchio served up burgers and fries while starting off anecdotes with a trademark "Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep." He showed up in the same role in ‘82 and ‘83 on a spinoff, “Joanie Loves Chacchi.”
Before "Happy Days," Molinaro played Murray the Cop on "The Odd Couple." His character played poker withTony Randall’s Felix Unger and Jack Klugman’s Oscar Madison in 73 episodes between 1970 and 1975, according to IMDb.
Molinaro's credits include other period mainstays like "Laverne & Shirley," "The Love Boat," "Bewitched," and "Green Acres." He also performed in "The Family Man" in 1990 and 1991 and a total of 42 national TV ads, pitching products like Mr. Big toilet paper and On-Cor Frozen Foods. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/al-molinaro-big-al-happy-days-actor-dead-96-article-1.2418509
He had those big puppy dog eyes and he used them to his advantage to create some comic genius monents.
Thanks for the memories, Al.