Tom Bosley, the actor best remembered for playing mild-mannered hardware store owner Howard Cunningham on the classic ’70s sitcom Happy Days and Cabot Cove sheriff Amos Tupper on the ’80s mystery drama Murder She Wrote, died at his home outside Los Angeles early Tuesday.
He was 83-years-old.
Bosley — who last appeared in Jennifer Lopez’s rom-com The Backup Plan — had been fighting lung cancer and a staph infection when he quietly died this morning.
Bosley also appeared as a guest star on several notable television series, among them The Mod Squad, Bonaza, and The Cosby Show. He was also a skilled theater actor and won a Best Actor Tony Award in 1960 for his role as New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in Fiorello.
The tribute have already begun pouring in for what former co-stars call “a wonderful man.”
“He played our TV dad and was very much like our dad on the set. As a matter of fact, he helped us buy our first home as we did the show. … We all stayed pretty close as a family,” says Henry Winkler, who played Fonzie on Happy Days.
Scott Baio, who played Charles “Chachi” Arcola on the hit show, also Tweeted kind words for Mr. Bosley. “He was such a nice man … totally. I learned a lot from him in the business and in life. He was just like the dad he played on TV. … He will be missed.”
TV Guide ranked Bosley No. 9 on their list of “Top TV Dads of All Time.”
Bosley is survived by his wife, Patricia Carr, and daughter Amy Bosley. A memorial service is planned for Friday morning in Los Angeles.