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Happy Days' 'Big Al' Dies

Al Molinaro was 96
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2015 10:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sad new for Happy Days fans: Al Molinaro, best known for playing drive-in owner "Big Al" Delvecchio, has died in a California hospital from a gallstone infection, reports the Kenosha News, his hometown paper. He was 96. Molinaro, whose character took over the drive-in from Pat Morita's character, was with the show from 1976 until 1982, reports the BBC. Before Happy Days, he played Murray the cop on the Odd Couple for five years. Molinaro, who retired in the '90s, started acting relatively late in life after leaving Wisconsin for California, the News reports. A friend said "'You should be an actor,' and I said, 'I’ll do that,'" he recalled in 2004. "I get on the Greyhound bus and I'm in Hollywood." (Read more Happy Days stories.)

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