Tom Bosley, the leading TV dad of the 1970s [due to his role as Happy Days dad Howard Cunningham], died this Tuesday after a “brief battle” with lung cancer. He was 83.
“We were a make-believe family for 10 years, and like a real family for over 30. He will be so, so missed,” Winkler [who played Fonzie on the hit show Happy Days] said of Bosley.
Bosley, became a name in the late 1950s for his role in the Broadway musical, Fiorello! His Happy Days fatherly role gave him a handful of Emmy nominations, and his other TV credits included: the 1987-1991 detective series, Father Dowling Mysteries; a recurring role as the sheriff of Cabot Cove on Murder, She Wrote; and the 1970s domestic-comedy toon, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home.
“I’m a very happy man,” Bosley said in 1991. “As long as I’m healthy and people are interested, I’ll continue to act.”
The passing of Bosley comes just days after that of another beloved TV parent, Barbara Billingsley, who played the mom on Leave It to Beaver.
Tom, you will forever be in the hearts of Happy Days fans everywhere, and you will surely be missed.