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Tom Bosley has died at age 83.

I am sorry to see that Tom Bosley, an actor whose work I have been watching since I was a very young man, has died at age 83 of heart failure that may have been related to his lung cancer.

While everyone I know immediately thinks of Bosley as Ritchie Cunningham’s father on Happy Days, my first exposure to him was as the Mayor of New York, Fiorello H. LaGuardia in the musical Fiorello, the role which won him a Tony Award (1959). I saw Fiorello when he had it on a summer tour a year after he had left the Broadway cast (and after which the B’way show closed…without Bosley there was no Fiorello) at the Springfield, Massachusetts tent theatre on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition. He took the Bock/Harnick Musical all around the country where he was heartily received everywhere.

He spent most of his career on Television, however… Happy Days, a long-running role on Murder, She Wrote as Sheriff Amos Tupper, and guest spots on other shows.

I will remember him and his performances.