Happy Days Star Al Molinaro Dies at 96

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Al Molinaro, Big Al on ‘Happy Days’ actor, dead at 96: reports.

TMZ says his son confirmed that Molinaro died in a Wisconsin hospital on Thursday. He also appeared in the “Happy Days” spinoff “Joani Loves Chachi.” Younger audiences may recognize Molinaro as Al from Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” music video, which was set in the “Happy Days” drive-in and featured edited footage of Fonzie (Henry Wrinkler) dancing with girls.

Molinaro also was known for portraying Murray the Cop, the poker-playing buddy to Tony Randall’s Felix Unger and Jack Klugman’s Oscar Madison, on an earlier ABC sitcom, The Odd Couple, co-created by Garry Marshall from the Neil Simon play. The actor is best known for playing Al Delvecchio on “Happy Days.” The character — who often told long stories ending with the phrase “Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep” — ran Arnold’s, the Milwaukee hangout for Richie, Fonzie and the rest of the gang. A native of Kenosha, Wis., Molinaro joined Happy Days — also created by Marshall — in 1974 for its second season, and his character eventually took over the diner from Pat Morita, who had played Arnold (and left for his own sitcom). The actor appeared from 1974 to 1984 on the classic show about the Cunningham family and 1950s Milwaukee as the friendly but irritable owner of Arnold’s.

In 1994, Molinaro reprised the role of Al yet again, this time for Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” video (directed by Spike Jonze), with the band performing at the drive-in.

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