Tom Bosley, the actor best known for playing “Happy Days” patriarch Howard Cunningham, has died, his manager confirmed to Access Hollywood. He was 83.
Bosley died following a long battle with lung cancer, his manager told Access.
He passed away at 4 AM on Tuesday at his home in Palm Springs, Calif.
Bosley was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1927, a few years before the start of the Great Depression.
The actor starred as Cunningham — aka Mr. C., the father of Richie (Ron Howard) and Joanie Cunningham (Erin Moran) on “Happy Days” from 1974-1984, pairing him on screen with stars including Marion Ross, who played his on-screen wife, Marion, and Henry Winkler, who played The Fonz.
“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,” 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.”
Howard also issued a statement over Bosley’s passing to Access Hollywood.
“I’m so saddened by the loss of our wonderful Tom Bosley. Remarkable on so many levels, Tom’s insight, talent, strength of character and comic timing made him a vital central figure in the Happy Days experience. A great father and husband, and a wonderful artist, Tom lead by example, and made us all laugh while he was doing it,” Howard’s statement read. “My last conversations with Tom reflected the love of life and peace of mind that he always maintained throughout his full and rewarding life. I miss him already.”
Bosley had a lengthy career on television including “Father Dowling Mysteries,” the “Hallmark Hall of Fame,” a television series that ran from 1955-1962 and “Route 66.”
He also appeared as a guest star on several notable shows including “The Mod Squad,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Bonaza” and “The Bill Cosby Show.” He also appeared on Broadway and won a Tony award in 1960 for his role as Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in “Fiorello.”
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.
Services for the star will be held on Friday morning in Los Angeles.