Al Molinaro, TV character actor known for "Happy Days" and "The Odd Couple," dies at 96

In a photo, provided in 1974 by ABC, actor Al Molinaro poses dressed as Murray the cop. Molinaro, the loveable character actor with the hangdog face who was known to millions of TV viewers for playing Murray on "The Odd Couple" and malt shop owner Al Delvecchio on "Happy Days," died Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, at Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, Calif., his son Michael Molinaro said.
Image Credit: ABC via AP, File

GLENDALE, Calif. - Al Molinaro, the loveable character actor with the hangdog face who was known to millions of TV viewers for playing Murray the cop on "The Odd Couple" and malt shop owner Al Delvecchio on "Happy Days," died Friday at Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, his son Michael Molinaro said.

He died of complications of gallstone problems, his son said. He was 96.

Molinaro, a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, came to acting late in life. He had a brief teenage stint as a clarinet player with a band, then worked at a variety of jobs after graduating high school.

"The Odd Couple," the TV version of Neil Simon's play about feuding roommates, featured Molinaro as a simpleminded policemen who at times seemed as much a threat to his friends as he did to any crooks.

His next long-running role was that of Al Delvecchio in "Happy Days," the 1974-1984 nostalgic sitcom about 1950s life that starred Ron Howard and Henry Winkler.

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