Gavan O’Herlihy, the Missing Big Brother on ‘Happy Days,’ Dies at 70

He died. He was 70 years old. Gavan O’Herlihy, the Irish actor who famously disappeared from the show Days Happy, played Chuck Cunningham, the big brother on the show.

The Hollywood reporter told Cormac O’Herlihy that his brother died in Bath, England on September 15th, but the family is not specifying the cause of death, mentioning that it is not related to COVID-19.

In his initial debut on the large screen, O’Herlihy portrayed the former companion of the bride (Amy Stryker) in Robert Altman’s A Wedding (1978).

In the film “Wish Death” from 1985, Michael Winner’s character, played by Charles Bronson, is killed by the leader of the red-striped gang, Fraker, who is blown away by a snake. Additionally, in Irvin Kershner’s 1983 film “Never Say Never Again,” he also portrayed the bad guy Petachi Jack from SPECTRE.

The miniseries Lonesome Dove, which aired on CBS in 1989, featured Dan Suggs, a sadistic killer who was hanged. The film fantasy Happy Days, directed by Ron Howard, also portrayed O’Herlihy, who had a death scene in the movie Willow (1988) and played the role of a heroic character.

Dan O’Herlihy, who played Macduff in Orson Welles’ Macbeth, was nominated for an Oscar for his role as the title character in Luis Buñuel’s Robinson Crusoe (1954), and is best known for his portrayal of the Old Man in RoboCop 2.

Ric Carrott had portrayed the role in the pilot, developed by Garry Marshall, throughout the initial season of ABC’s Happy Days. In 1974, Gavan O’Herlihy made appearances in seven episodes as Chuck, a basketball sensation at Jefferson High who departs for university.

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He mentioned in an interview without a specific date that seven episodes were sufficient for him.

He stated, “I had no desire to engage in it, I withdrew from it.” “I was planning to exert effort and play basketball occasionally over a span of approximately three or four years, they recruited me for college. And that’s not the job you desire to be performing at the age of 20. Nevertheless, that opportunity propelled my career; it allowed me to gain recognition in the local community as a young individual who achieved success rapidly.”

Chuck soon erased all memory of the show, except for two episodes of season two, which were replaced with Erin Moran (Roberts Randolph) and Richie (Howard) as his kids. This even makes a reference to his dad, Howard Cunningham, much later.

Now there is something called “Chuck Cunningham Syndrome,” concerning characters who vanish from shows without any explanation.

On Twitter, Howard referred to O’Herlihy as a “skilled performer with a vast independent nature.”

RIP Gavan. I knew him as the 1st of 2Chucks on #HappyDays & then as Airk in #Willow where I had the pleasure of directing him. A talented actor with a big free spirit. https://t.co/cGHXzeCG4A

— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) November 11, 2021

John Gavan O’Herlihy was born on July 29, 1951, in Dublin, where he attended Trinity College and the Abbey Theater School. As a teenager, he was raised in Dublin and later in Malibu. He was also a tennis champion and had four children.

“It possessed its own enchanting allure, and for a youthful gentleman from California, Dublin during that time possessed its own influence. It was unclean and destitute and malodorous. However, Dublin during that time possessed its own influence, the wealth is influential, the ocean is influential, the sunshine is influential,” he expressed in a 2013 conversation with The Independent. “Providing a child with an alternative viewpoint from L.A. Is a remarkable endeavor.”

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After his time on Happy Days, O’Herlihy appeared in shows like Rich Man, Poor Man, the highly praised miniseries from 1976, as well as Star Trek: Voyager, Matt Houston, The Bionic Woman, and Marcus Welby, M.D.

During the period of 1990-91, he collaborated with his father on ABC’s Twin Peaks, appeared as an individual who intimidates Clark Kent in Superman III (1983), and moved to England to play a leading role in the 1982 ITV show We’ll Meet Again.

Rogan, Lonan, David and Daniel, his offspring, and his spouse Juliette, along with his additional brothers and sisters — Patricia; Lorcan, a notable Los Angeles designer; and Olwen, a graphic artist — and his sibling Cormac, are among the individuals who made it through.

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