Al Molinaro, ‘Happy Days’ diner owner, dies

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Al Molinaro, ‘Happy Days’ diner owner, dies.

GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) — Al Molinaro, the lovable character actor with the hangdog face who was known to millions of TV viewers for playing Murray the cop on The Odd Couple and malt shop owner Al Delvecchio on Happy Days, died Friday at Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, his son Michael Molinaro said. It starred Tony Randall as photographer Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as sports writer Oscar Madison and featured Molinaro as one of their buddies, a simpleminded policemen who at times seemed as much a threat to his friends as he did to any crooks.

In ABC’s 1992 Happy Days Reunion Special, Molinaro defended the show from criticism that it sentimentalised the 1950s. “In the industry, they used to consider us like a bubblegum show,” he said. “But I think they overlooked one thing. His next long-running role was that of Al Delvecchio in Happy Days, the 1974-1984 nostalgic sitcom about 1950s life that starred Ron Howard and Henry Winkler. To the public in America, Happy Days was an important show, and I think it was and I think it still is.” Molinaro built on his Happy Days success for years after he left the show.

The actor played a grandfather in The Family Man, a sitcom that aired from 1990-91, and continued to make guest appearances on other series through the early 90s.

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