According to a recent report, Gavan O’Herlihy, a character actor with several accolades but maybe most remembered for his cryptic role in Happy Days, has died. The Irish Echo newspaper verified that the Irish-born actor died about two months ago, on September 15 in Bath, England.
The cause of death was not disclosed, however O’Herlihy was 70 years old at the time of his death. In addition to Happy Days, O’Herlihy’s career would include performances in several more television series and feature films, with his final credit supposedly being a movie named Queen of the Redwood Mountains, which is now in post-production.
O’Herlihy appeared in seven episodes in the first season of Happy Days playing the part of Chuck Cunningham, the older-brother to Ron Howard’s Richie, but departed the series after the first season. He was briefly replaced in the part by another actor, who was playing the part when he ascended the stairs in the Cunningham home and never appeared again, spawning the phrase “Chuck Cunningam syndrome” for TV characters that are never heard from again with no explanation. Despite their brief time together on the show O’Herlihy and Howard would work together again with the actor appearing in Howard’s 1988 fantasy movie Willow.
The great Ron Howard who was a child actor on Happy Days posted this on his Twitter: