Al Molinaro Dies; Former Happy Days Star was 96

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Sad news out of the world of television:

Al Molinaro, a veteran actor best known for having portrayed a restaurant owner on Happy Days, died in Wisconsin on Thursday.

Al Molinaro image

He was 96 years old.

Molinaro’s son, Michael, confirmed to TMZ that his father had been suffering from gall stones prior to his passing.

The actor also played Murray the police officer on the original Odd Couple.

But he'll forever be remembered for his role on ABC's beloved Happy Days, which he joined during its second season in 1974 by taking over the diner, Al's Drive-In.

The establishment was Fonzie's favorite spot at which to hang out and be cool.

He starred on the series for a decade and then reprised his Big Al role on the spinoff, Joanie Loves Chachi, where his character came up with the now-famous storytelling intro of,  "Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep."

Molinaro is survived Michael and by his wife, Betty.

We send the actor's family, friends and loved ones our best wishes.

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