Actor Eddie Mekka Dies At Age 69

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eddie mekka
eddie mekka

Actor , known for playing Carmine “The Big Ragu” Ragusa on the 1970s sitcom, “Laverne & Shirley," died at age 69.

Mekka's death was announced on Thursday on his official Facebook account, but it is believed that he “passed away peacefully” in his home in Newhall, California, on either Friday or Saturday. No cause of death was announced.

His brother Warren Mekjian found Mekka's body at his home. Mekjian checked up on him after Mekka's neighbors had said they had not heard from him in a “couple of days.”

“Eddie was always joking, laughing, loved to sing and dance — he was a good storyteller and very talented,” Mekjian told NBC News. “He’s going to be missed.”

 

 

Mekka’s character, “The Big Ragu,” was Shirley Feeney’s boyfriend, who was a part-time boxer and owned a dance studio. Mekka appeared in 150 episodes of the sitcom that aired from 1976-1983.

Laverne & Shirley” was among the most-watched show on TV from 1977 to 1979.

Among other popular television shows, Mekka appeared on "24," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and "ER."

Cindy Williams, who played "Shirley," and Michael McKean, who played "Lenny" Kosnowski, both took to Twitter to share kind words about their co-star.

“My darling Eddie, A world-class talent who could do it all. I love you dearly. I'll miss you so much. But oh the marvelous memories... ” Williams posted.

“A sad goodbye to this morning. A genuinely good guy and purveyor of cheer whenever things got cheerless. Value these people. RIP, Eddie,” McKean posted.

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