Actor who played Mike Silver on hit TV series starring Tom Bosley and Henry Winkler died on Thursday
Gavan O’Herlihy, who played Mike Silver on Happy Days, has died at the age of 70.
The actor, who was born in Manchester, Northern Ireland and moved to America in 1968, was best known for his role as the brother of Henry Winkler’s character Fonzie in the beloved sitcom. O’Herlihy also played the father of John Stamos in Days of Our Lives.
USA Today reported the death. It reported that O’Herlihy suffered from lung disease and also died in his sleep in Florida. The cause of death has not been made public.
O’Herlihy’s character was a college graduate who never quite fit in with the fashionable members of the Wernersville, Pennsylvania, family. He was the friend of Anson Williams’ character, Arthur “AJ” Johnson, and played Mike’s not-quite-pal Pops for a short time.
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O’Herlihy returned to the series in season six, playing Mike’s friend Carl in a recurring role, and in the same year, starred in his first television movie role in the biopic, Citizen Frank. In the late 70s, he returned to Chicago for another short-lived comedy The Smith Family and later appeared in a number of lesser-known series including Cougar Town, Charlie’s Angels and Cougar Town, according to the Chicago Tribune.
He was remembered in social media posts from many of his former co-stars and audiences.
Gavan O’Herlihy (@gogwan) This is to confirm to the world that I have died. I was 73, in mourning, at peace, with my family at my bedside. I thank you all for your condolences, love and laughter, where ever it is.
O’Herlihy’s co-star Tom Bosley took to social media to express his grief. “So so sad about my friend Gavan, a man I have loved dearly,” he wrote. “Saying a prayer for his family. Rest in Peace my dear brother.”
Larry Thomas (@LarryThomas) Shocked and saddened by the news about Gavan O’Herlihy. I was a big fan of his for 30 years. Shocked and saddened by the news about Gavan O’Herlihy. I was a big fan of his for 30 years. pic.twitter.com/t4gOdWTHco
The Happy Days cast in 1978. Photograph: Getty Images
On the series, O’Herlihy worked with Winkler, who had been also voiced Arnold Hooper, Albert Grossman and Barney Rubble, among other roles on the series. He appeared in several of Winkler’s films including Happy Gilmore, who tweeted: “My brother, Gavan O’Herlihy, died peacefully in his sleep yesterday. He was everything to me. We loved each other very much and I’m going to miss him.”
“He was in our family. He was my brother. He was a friend,” Winkler said during the 2018 Stand Up to Cancer, reported the Los Angeles Times. “He was a fantastic actor, but more than that he was a great, great guy. He taught me to have a great sense of humor. He loved to make people laugh. He was my clown. He really did.”
Born in Belfast on 22 February 1949, O’Herlihy worked for the US embassy in Ireland during the late 70s. His interest in acting began when he became a member of a production of Shakespeare in Schools at Belfast’s youth theatre center.
In his last public tweet, O’Herlihy shared a photo of his friend Woody Harrelson: “Goodnight, Woody.”