Happy Days scene with Tom Bosley as Howard CunninghamAs reported by Associated Press, the actor Tom Bosley, best known for his role as the dad in the long-running and popular TV sitcom Happy Days, died yesterday after suffering heart failure at a hospital near his Palm Springs home. He was 83 years of age.
As father Howard Cunningham to Ron Howard's character Richie in ABC TV's comedy Happy Days, which ran from 1974 to 1984 and more recently in reruns on TV Land, Bosley's role became a familiar and always reassuring figure. Mr. Cunningham was typically propped in his armchair, offering fatherly wisdom from over his outspread newspaper. For this role Bosley was ranked number 9 in the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" by TV Guide.
While the TV show Happy Days was how most people became familiar with Bosley, he had enjoyed a successful stage career prior to his Happy Days role. Fifteen years earlier in his career he won a Tony for his performance as the lead/title role in Fiorello! on Broadway. Post Happy Days Bosley played roles such as the lead in the crime-solving priest TV show The Father Dowling Mysteries in the late 80's/early 90's.