Longtime “Laverne & Shirley” actor Eddie Mekka has died. He was 69.
He was reportedly discovered dead last Saturday at his California home.
Mekka, who portrayed Carmine Ragusa on the popular sitcom, had battled blood clots recently, his brother told TMZ.
Authorities went to Mekka’s home in Newhall, Calif., after receiving reports that Mekka had been out of contact for multiple days.
Mekka appeared on 150 episodes of “Laverne & Shirley” between 1976 and 1983, playing the character known as the Big Ragu on the series, which was a spin-off of “Happy Days.”
His character, who dated Shirley on the show, was a boxer who aspired to be a professional singer and dancer. Mekka also portrayed Carmine on multiple episodes of “Happy Days.”
Mekka acted in dozens of TV shows and films over the course of an entertainment career that spanned four decades.
He portrayed multiple characters on popular series “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island” and “Family Matters” and appeared in high-profile movies such as “A League of Their Own” and “Dreamgirls.”
His final acting credit came in the 2018 football comedy flick “Hail Mary!”
Mekka had recently gone to the hospital and was struggling to walk due to the blood clots, his brother, Warren Mekjian, told TMZ, which reports there was no evidence of foul play.
“A sad goodbye to Eddie Mekka this morning,” Michael McKean, who played Lenny Kosnowski on “Laverne & Shirley,” tweeted Thursday.
A sad goodbye to Eddie Mekka this morning. A genuinely good guy and purveyor of cheer whenever things got cheerless. Value these people. RIP, Eddie.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) December 2, 2021