Gavan O’Herlihy, Mysterious Son Chuck from ‘Happy Days,’ Dies @ 70

Gavan O'Herlihy has become the second Happy Days Cunningham kid to die after Erin "Joanie Cunningham" Moran. O'Herlihy died September 15 in England at age 70, his agent Michael Emptage has belatedly confirmed.

"Yes, Chuck?" (Image via ABC)

No cause of death was provided, but it was not related to COVID-19.

In a statement, Emptage said, "He was a wonderful actor with a long and distinguished career in film, television, and theatre. Gavan was admired and respected for his directness, his sincerity, and his honesty — he is greatly missed by all who knew him and most particularly by his adoring wife and family."

Just a few years after Happy Days, "Chuck" was amok in Death Wish 3. (Image via Cannon)

O'Herlihy holds a unique position in pop culture, having played Chuck, the eldest Cunningham kid on Happy Days on nine episodes of the iconic series in 1974. Chuck was played by Ric Carrott (b. 1949) in the pilot, entitled "Love and the Happy Days" (1972), which was a segment of Love, American Style. O'Herlihy left the series after Season 1 and was replaced by Randolph Roberts (b. 1949) for just two episodes of Season 2, after which Chuck was written off the show — and never referred to again.

Born on July 29, 1951, in Dublin, Ireland, O'Herlihy — the son of Oscar-nominated film veteran Dan O'Herlihy (1919-2005) — made his TV bow on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973 ahead of his casting as Chuck. He left and went on to appear on various series, including Marcus Welby, M.D. (1975), The Six Million Dollar Man (1975), Police Woman (1975), The Amazing Spider-Man (1979), Matt Houston (1985), Tales from the Crypt (1990), Twin Peaks (1990 & 1991), Star Trek: Voyager (1995) and the British show Midsomer Murders (2009).

O'Herlihy in The Descent Part 2 (Image via Warner Bros. Ent. UK)

His most memorable film work was for his old co-star Ron Howard, now 67, in Willow (1988), playing Airk Thaughbaer. He also appeared in Robert Altman's A Wedding (1978), Superman III (1983), as a villain in the Bond flick Never Say Never Again (1983), in Death Wish 3 (1985) and in the 2009 British horror movie The Descent: Part 2.

He was Dan Suggs on the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove.

O'Herlihy is survived by his wife and four children.

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