Following the death of America’s favorite mom, we have now lost one of the dad icons. Tom Bosley, lovingly known as Howard Cunningham, has passed out of this life as well. Hollywood has lost two of the most famous parental figures on television this week. June Cleaver and Howard Cunningham were both central characters on their individual shows.
Tom Bosley died this week at home in Palm Springs, California at the age of 83. Tom died of a staph infection and heart failure, but had battled lung cancer for years. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1927, Tom had made a tremendous impact on the world of television, after serving in the Navy during World War II.
In 1974 Tom landed the role as Howard Cunningham, a hardware store owner and father of two children, Richie and Joanie on the popular show “Happy Days”. His wife on the show was a stay-at-home mom, Marion Cunningham, and he served as a father figure to The Fonz, a motorcycle riding, fun-loving young man that Richie had befriended. Tom played this role for 11 seasons, while watching both of his on air children grow into mature teens and young adults.
In 1982, Tom had his own show, “Father Downing Mysteries”. This was after doing several appearances and cameos in other shows, such as “Murder, She Wrote”. His work in this show was a contrast from the work that he had done in “Happy Days”, but he performed it well and enjoyed the time on the show.
Tom is survived by his second wife, Patricia Carr and his daughter Amy. He is also survived by many fans of all the wonderful series that he was a part of and he will always be Howard Cunningham or Mr. C, as he was affectionately called by The Fonz on the show.