Tom Bosley, Played Dad on TV's 'Happy Days,' Dies at 83

Tom Bosley, who played the grumpy-but-practical father Howard Cunningham on TV's popular comedy "Happy Days," has died at age 83. His agent, Sheryl Abrams, confirmed heart failure was the cause of death.

With Barbara Billingsley's death only a few days ago, America has lost two of its most beloved television parents inside of a week. Billingsley played June Cleaver on "Leave it to Beaver."

TV Guide ranked Bosley's "Happy Days" character No. 9 on its list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" in 2004. The comedy about typical high school kids living in Milwaukee debuted in 1974.

After "Happy Days" ended after 11 seasons, Bosley enjoyed roles in "Murder, She Wrote" as Sheriff Amos Tucker.and starred in "The Father Dowling Mysteries."

“Since day one of ‘Happy Days,’ we as a cast have remained so wonderfully connected. He was our TV dad and a real life father-figure for the past 33 years,” Henry Winkler said in a statement to Access Hollywood on Tuesday. “He will be sorely missed. And our most positive thoughts go out to the family.”

According to NBC News: In addition to playing Howard Cunningham on the long-running "Happy Days," Bosley won a Tony Award in 1960 for his performance as Fiorello La Guardia in "Fiorello!"Bosley was born in Chicago to a real estate broker father and a former concert pianist mother. "We were fairly wealthy until the stock market crashed," Bosley told PEOPLE magazine in 1979. "When I was 2, my father lost all his money."

In 1945, he joined the Navy at age 17 before enrolling in pre-law at DePaul University. After a year, he turned to acting. He worked in stock theater in Illinois, along with fellow actor Paul Newman, until he moved to New York in 1950.

His most recent credit came on the big screen alongisde Jennifer Lopez in the 2010 film “The Back-Up Plan.” Bosley is survived by his wife, Patricia Carr, and daughter Amy Bosley.


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