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Thread: Happy Days diner owner Al Molinaro dies aged 96

  1. #1
    Gold Member Catty's Avatar
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    Nov 2010

    Default Happy Days diner owner Al Molinaro dies aged 96

    Image copyright AP Image caption Al Molinaro starred as 'Big Al' alongside Henry Winkler, as the Fonz American actor Al Molinaro, who starred as "Big Al" Delvecchio in sitcom Happy Days, has died at the age of 96.
    He appeared as the owner of Arnold's Drive-in, where the main characters would gather, from 1976 until 1982.
    Molinaro, who also spent five years playing Murray the cop in the TV version of The Odd Couple, retired from acting in the 1990s.
    He died in a California hospital of complications from a gallstone infection, his son Michael said.
    'Important show'

    Molinaro had taken over the role of Al two years into the series' run and starred in more than 100 episodes, according to the LA Times.

    The part had originally been played by Pat Morita, who went on to star as Mr Miyagi in Karate Kid.
    Molinaro told the LA Times: "When you live with a character as long as I have, you know how he would talk in almost any situation."
    Image copyright AP Image caption Molinaro had retired from acting in the 1990s Image copyright AP Image caption The Fonz, played by Henry Winkler (c), and Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard (l), would gather at the drive-in in the 1950s-set sitcom Wisconsin-born Molinaro also appeared in Happy Days spin-off series Joanie loves Chachi in the 1980s.
    After retirement, Molinaro became best known for commercials and set up a chain of diners called Big Al's. He also reprised the character of Al in the music video for Weezer's song, Buddy Holly.
    Speaking in 1992 on a Happy Days reunion show, he described the 1950s-set sitcom as an "important" show.
    "In the industry, they used to consider us like a bubble-gum show," he said.
    "But I think they overlooked one thing. To the public in America, Happy Days was an important show, and I think it was and I think it still is."

    Source: Happy Days diner owner Al Molinaro dies aged 96 - BBC News
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  2. #2
    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Sep 2009


    RIP Big Al.
    Before you can judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? He's a mile away and you've got his shoes. - Billy Connolly

  3. #3
    Elite Member Annika's Avatar
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    May 2008


    gosh i thought he had died a long time ago. he lived to a ripe old age. RIP sir!
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  4. #4
    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    Mar 2009


    I also liked him on The Odd Couple.
    witchcurlgirl and KrisNine like this.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Does anyone else remember a sitcom he starred in for a very brief time about an unattractive family called The Ugily Family? He had to keep clarifying that it was pronounced "yoo-gee-lee"...

  6. #6
    Elite Member mtlebay's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    As he would say, "Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep, yep....".

    Thanks for the laughs, rest in peace.
    Go Habs Go!!

  7. #7
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Sleepy night night land


    Aw, he really lived a nice, long life. Loved him on Happy Days and the Odd Couple. Both great shows.
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  8. #8
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    Bless him I thought he was already dead too. RIP Al!!!
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

  9. #9
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    I read he suggested Robin Williams to play Mork in an episode of Happy Days.

  10. #10
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    I saw this old clip of Al and Tony Randall fooling around on set. It made me laugh.

    gas_chick and JazzyGirl like this.

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  11. #11
    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Loved Big Al.

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