Tom Bosley, the loving, even keeled and warm father on the 1970’s hit show Happy Days to Richie Cunningham, died October 19 in his Palm Springs, California home due to a staph infection. Bosley had just turned 83 on October 1.
Bosley was perhaps known for his role as Richie’s father on the sitcom about the 1950’s, and his former co-stars are speaking.
Henry Winkler spoke to Los Angeles’s KNX-1070 News Radio stating, “I’m in shock, I really am. I spoke to him just a few weeks ago and he seemed to be getting his strength back.”
Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham on Happy Days stated that he already misses Bosley, “Tom’s insight, talent, strength of character and comic timing made him a vital central figure in the Happy Days experience.”
Howard also added that Bosley was “A great father and husband, and a wonderful artist, Tom led by example, and made us all laugh while he was doing it.”
Tom Bosley was born in Chicago, Illinois and was the younger son to his mother Dora, a concert pianist, and father, Benjamin, who was a real estate broker. In 1979 Bosley spoke with People and stated, “We were fairly wealthy until the stock market crashed. When I was 2, my father lost all his money.” Bosley’s parents got a divorce some nine years later.
During World War II Bosley also served in the US Navy and later, while attending DePaul University in 1947 he made his stage debut in Our Town.
Bosley first worked in stock theater in Illinois along with Paul Newman and Geraldine Page, also just getting started in acting. Later Bosley acted in Fiorello!, a Pulitzer-Prize winning musical, for which he won a Tony. He also starred in The World of Henry Orient alongside Angela Lansbury and later would go on to appear in CBS’ Murder She Wrote.
Sources: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20435305,00.html, Radaronline.com