‘Happy Days’ diner owner Al Molinaro dies at 96

Al Molinaro on Happy Days
Al Molinaro on Happy Days (Wikimedia)

Al Molinaro, the actor best known for playing diner owner Big Al Delvecchio on the 70s-era sitcom “Happy Days,” has died. He was 96.


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The drive-in diner featured on the show was a popular hangout where Richie, the Fonz and the rest of the gang hung out.

In 1976, Garry Marshall hired Molinaro to replace Pat Morita as the restaurant owner. He left Happy Days in 1982.

In 1987, Molinaro capitalized on that fame with fellow Happy Days cast member Anson Williams and the pair opened a chain of diners called Big Al’s in the US Midwest. The business later went defunct.