DUBLIN: Actor Gavan O’Herlihy, best known for his brief role as the eldest Cunningham son on the sitcom “Happy Days,” has passed away at the age of 70, according to his agent.
In a statement, actor’s agent Michael Emptage said O’Herlihy died on September 15 in Bath, England. No cause of death was given. Emptage remembered O’Herlihy as “a wonderful actor with a long and distinguished career in film, television and theatre.”
“Gavan was larger than life and is greatly missed by all who knew him, most particularly by his adoring wife and family,” Emptage said in the statement. Ireland-born O’Herlihy’s on-screen career lasted almost 40 years.
The Irish-born O’Herlihy was part of a showbiz family — the son of singer and actor Dan O’Herlihy — and grew up in the United States. When the nostalgic sitcom “Happy Days” went into production in 1974, O’Herlihy got his big break as Chuck Cunningham, the family’s eldest child.
O’Herlihy made appearances in multiple TV series, including “Rich Man, Poor Man,” “The Bionic Woman” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” throughout the 1970s. He also had a recurring role on “We’ll Meet Again” on London’s ITV network.
In the 1980’s he began taking on movie roles, including “Willow,” where he was on-set with Val Kilmer. He also worked on the James Bond movie “Never Say Never Again,” which starred Sean Connery.
Former “Happy Days” co-star Ron Howard, who played Chuck’s brother, Richie Cunningham, mourned O’Herlihy on Twitter. “A talented actor with a big free spirit,” said Howard, who also directed O’Herlihy in the 1988 film “Willow.”