R.I.P. Gavan O’Herlihy, Richie’s older brother, Chuck, in Happy Days

He reunited with Ron Howard years later for the movie Willow and played the memorable gang leader in Death Wish 3.

The Everett Collection

Though he only appeared in seven episodes of the first season, many Happy Days fans remember Richie’s original older brother, Chuck. The antagonistic sibling was played by actor Gavan O’Herlihy, who recently passed away at the age of 70.

O’Herlihy made his screen debut as Josh McBride in the Mary Tyler Moore Show episode “Son of ‘But Seriously Folks’” in 1973.

A year later, his second gig seemed to be a big break – getting cast as a family member in a major sitcom. Unfortunately, Chuck’s time on Happy Days didn’t last long.

But that was far from his last appearance on television. O’Herlihy guest starred in shows like Marcus Welby, M.D., The Six Million Dollar Man and the Disney TV movie The Ghost of Cypress Swamp.

The son of Irish actor Dan O’Herlihy, Gavan appeared with his father in the 1979 PBS special Mark Twain: Beneath the Laughter. They both played the title character, with Gavan as the renowned author when he was a young man known as Samuel Clemens.

Gavan O’Herlihy had a small role in Robert Altman’s A Wedding starring Carol Burnett, Mia Farrow and Desi Arnaz Jr. He can also be seen in Superman III, Bond film Never Say Never Again and as memorable gang leader Fraker in Death Wish 3.

In 1988, O’Herlihy reunited with Ron Howard for the movie Willow. Howard directed the fantasy film while his former TV brother played warrior Airk Thaughbaer.

In a tweet remembering O’Herlihy, Howard called him “A talented actor with a big free spirit.”

In the 1990s, O’Herlihy appeared in Tales from the Crypt, Twin Peaks and Star Trek: Voyager as well as the 1993 TV movie The Last Outlaw alongside Mickey Rourke, Ted Levine and Steve Buscemi.

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bagandwallyfan52 29 months ago
Chuck Cunningham 2 was played by Randolph Roberts
And the last appearance of
Chuck Cunningham is on
The episode Guess Who's Coming To Christmas which will
Be on METV on December 24th
At 6:30pm.
Farewell Chuck Cunningham
Gavan O Herlihy and
Randolph Roberts.
bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
Does anyone remember the first
line of Chuck Cunningham 1
(Gavan O Herlihy) in the first
episode of Happy Days called
All The Way where Richie wants
To go on a date with Mary Lou
Mulligan(Kathy O Dare)?????


The first line of Chuck Cunningham (Gavan O Herlihy) on HAPPY Days was on Season one Episode one where Chuck
Cunningham said this to
Richie:"Sounds like you've
Got girl trouble ".
MarkSpeck 30 months ago
His uncle was Michael O'Herlihy, a long-time TV director who helmed dozens of shows, but most notably directed countless episodes of the original Hawaii Five-O from 1969 to 1976, including the episode with his brother (and Gavan's father Dan) "Termination With Extreme Prejudice".
Steve2021 30 months ago
All these actors left us too soon ! We will miss them.
bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
It is Bad Enough that Good Guy
Chuck Cunningham (Gavan O'
Herlihy and Randolph Roberts
And Ric Carrot from the Happy
Days Pilot on Love American Style) disappeared from Happy Days With No Explanation but
The Very Last Episode of Happy
Days called Passages would have been 100% BETTER if
Chuck Cunningham had been
At the wedding of Joanie Cunningham and Chachi Arcola.
I wish that Garry Marshall had
Asked one of the 3 actors who
Played Chuck(Gavan or Randolph or Ric Carrot) to RETURN as Chuck Cunningham
For the last episode.
I noticed that Tommy (Kevin
Sullivan ) and Bobby Melner (Harris Kal) were at the wedding.
Also it would have been a
Complete Reunion of Happy Days Cast Members if the
Following Characters Had been
Guests at the wedding:
Marsha Simms Wendy Trudy
Bag Zombroski Moose Flip
Phillips KC Cunningham
Eugene Belvin Melvin Belvin
And Spike. If Spike had been at
The wedding it would prove that
SPIKE and CHACHI were Not The
Same Person. Oh yeah Arnold
Should have also been one of the guests at the wedding.
Did I leave out any Happy Days
Cast Members!?/
Let me know if I left out any
Cast Members of Happy Days.
Oh yeah Jenny Piccalo Cathy Silvers was also
At the wedding of Joanie
And Chachi and that Jenny
Had become a Marine.
Sometimes Jenny Piccalo
Put Down Eugene Belvin (Denis Mandel) and sometimes Jenny liked
Eugene but there was one
Episode of Happy Days
Where Jenny liked a guy
Named BINGO(Robert Pierce) who was a member of Joanie and Chachi s
bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
This Article Says That Chuck Cunningham 1 Gavan O Herlihy
Appeared in 7 Episodes of Happy Days. I hope that METV
Will show 5 of the Happy Days
Episodes that Gavan O Herlihy
Played CC in and call it CC WEEK in honor of GAVAN
Because several METV Viewers
And Happy Days viewers would
Like To remember Chuck Cunningham and Gavan O Herlihy . RIP Gavan O Herlihy.
Also Chuck Cunningham was
NOT the first character on HAPPY Days to disappear from Happy Days with no explanation.
Besides me does anyone out
There in METV Land know who
HD with no explanation,??!!!
Tresix 30 months ago
I practically saw “Never Say Never Again” and “Superman III” back-to-back. I felt sorry for his character in “Never”, especially having that thing put in his eye.
TownOfMayberry 30 months ago
This says he was a few months younger than Ron Howard. This is not true. He was born in 1951. Ron Howard was born in 1954. Someone didn’t fact check this article.
texasluva TownOfMayberry 30 months ago
I saw that. Though his age given is 3 years older (70). Then below it states he was a few months younger then Ron Howard (67). Then saying he played his older brother. Makes no sense if 3 years older he would be 3 months older or younger even 😏. Maybe took a coffee break and came back to what he thought was something else, who knows .
bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
Even though Chuck Cunningham (Gavan O Herlihy and Randolph Roberts) was a minor character
On Happy Days a lot of viewers
Liked Chuck Cunningham.
And a lot of viewers liked
Gavan O Herlihy .
After all there have been
97 Comments about Gavan
And Chuck .Several persons
have said that they wish that. Chuck Cunningham had stayed
On Happy Days. Gavan did a
Great job playing Chuck and
Brad in Superman 3.
Kenner 30 months ago
Chuck, we hardly knew ye. And, R.I.P. gaven.
CouchPotato987 30 months ago
Wow! I never knew that red head Leif Erickson look alike in Willow was Chuck from Happy Days. Lol
Never watched enough of the earlier Happy Days episodes to compare the two characters. Lol…Learn something new everyday.
Runeshaper 30 months ago
R.I.P. Gavan O’Herlihy. He was GREAT in Willow!
TheDavBow3 30 months ago
The best of "Happy Days" was when when O'Herlihy was part of the cast. I always wished Chuck was kept part of the show. In reading the article above, I'm just now realizing he played the character with the "eye" in "Never Say Never Again". That's neat! R.I.P., good sir.
The BEST of Happy Days was when BOTH Gavan O Herlihy (Chuck Cunningham) and
Neil J Schwartz (Bag Zombroski ) were part of
the cast. Gavan and Neil
BOTH did a great job playing their roles on HD.
It's too bad that Gavan O Herlihy left Happy Days at
the end of season one but
Randolph Roberts did a good job as Chuck Cunningham 2.
Gavan O Herlihy
Randolph Roberts
Neil J Schwartz and
Ted McGinley as Roger Phillips all did a wonderful job playing their roles on HD. It's too bad that Moose
(Barry Greenberg ) was on
Happy Days for season one
ONLY.Happy Days were sad
days when Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard)
Ralph Malph (Donny Most)
Bag Zombroski (Neil J. Schwartz) Marsha Simms
(Beatrice Colen) Wendy (Misty Rowe) Eugene Belvin (Denis Mandel) Al Delvecchio(Al Molinaro)
Spike (Danny Butcn) and
Melvin Belvin (Scott Bernstein) and Jenny Piccalo (Cathy Silvers)/all
Left Happy Days different
Years and times.
Ralph Malph and Bag Zombroski were both excellent practical jokers on HD and I enjoyed watching Eugene Belvin
Trying to get Jenny Piccalo
to go on a date with her.
Potsie(Anson Williams)
And Leather (Suzi Quatro)
Sang fantastic soft rock
Oldies and the episode
Where Richie Cunningham
Was accused of being the
Kissing Bandit was a very
Funny Episode of HD.
My Favorite Practical Jokers Characters on Sitcoms Are:
Bag Zombroski (Neil J Schwartz ) on HAPPY Days
Wally Plumstead (Skip Young ) on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
Uncle.Arthur(Paul Lynde)
On Bewitched
Ralph Malph Donny Most on HAPPY Days
Eddie Haskell Ken Osmond
On Leave It To Beaver
Lumpy Rutherford Frank Bank on Leave It To Beaver
Hawkeye Alan Alda on MASH
Allan Melvin Sgt Hacker on
Gomer Pyle USMC
Buck Young Sgt Whipple on
Gomer Pyle USMC
Jack 30 months ago
GOD Rest the Soul of Gavan O’Herlihy,, ... Amen - Alleluia!
MadMadMadWorld 30 months ago
Gavin O'Herlihy was not younger than Ron, but actually older--contradicting the article. Gavin was born on July 29, 1951, while Ron did not appear until Mar. 1, 1954, now 67. That makes Gavin 2 years and 7 months older. Gavin died on Sep. 15, in Bath, England at 70.
Chris 30 months ago
I appreciate the discourse below. The majority has spoken, keep Hogans Heros.
Pacificsun 30 months ago
Without a doubt, the disappearance of Chuck Cunningham has become a bigger story than the "disappearance of Chuck Cunningham." At least on this thread. How sad that his disappearance can be so dismissed, and yet how amusing that he was more popular in his absence than his presence.

To be celebrated is the fascinating dynamic that television has to offer, but especially through our adult perspective in looking back over classic favorites. Is it that the wisdom, or more likely the nostalgia, of our years, makes certain details more important than they were ever intended to be. Or is it a compliment to the imaginations of the creators who put something out there that grew beyond their expectations. Or the questioning of our own rationality in dwelling on them.

Just a thought ....
I agree with you that the
Character Chuck Cunningham became
Chuck disappeared from Happy Days than when
Gavan O Herlihy and Randolph Roberts were
ACTUALLY On Happy Days
Strange But True.
I don't know who said
That expression but I believe it .
In Chuck Cunningham s
Case Absense Does Make
The Heart Grow Fonder .
I felt the same way when
Cpl. Boyle(Roy Stuart)
Of GP USMC and Ginger
(Charlene Salerno)
Of Ozzie and Harriet
Newt Kiley (Kay Kuter)
Or Green Acres and Don
Knott's(Barney Five) of
The Andy Griffith Show
Decided to leave the TV
Shows that they were on.
Ann Wedgeworth(Lana
Shields ) of Three's Company and Flora Mallorby(Alberta Nelson)
-Goobers Girlfriend on
The Andy Griffith Show
Both are victims of. Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
Michael bagandwallyfan52 30 months ago
You're misreading it. Chuck was a minor character, not memorable, but since he disappeared and people like you keep mentioning it, Chuck exists not as a character, but a chara cter that disappeared. It's a difference.
RkBke 30 months ago
gavin played one of the most brutal onscreen villans of all time in death wish 3
Chris 30 months ago
OK so Bernie Koppel never appeared on Hogan's. And I just learned, according to Wikipedia that 3-4 cast members that were in actual concentration camps....... So I guess there goes my argument for the insensitiveness of the material.

Let me try this, ITS NOT FUNNY!!! Replace with a different 60's or 70's show!!
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Pacificsun Pacificsun 30 months ago
Edit: I have not investigated which awards were won.
Moody Chris 30 months ago
Here's a thought - don't watch if you don't like it. Nobody is forcing you. Judging from your comments about the show I doubt you have watched it much at all too understand what it was about.
Snickers Pacificsun 30 months ago
Very well put sir, Bravo!
Snickers Chris 30 months ago
Don't like it don't watch!!!!
Jeffrey 30 months ago
He, Gavan O'Herlihy, was NOT a few months younger than Ron Howard, He was 3 to 4 years OLDER than Ron. I am the same age as Ron Howard, 67, and O'Herlihy was 70. So get your facts straight before you publish a story like this.
Pacificsun Jeffrey 30 months ago
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavan_O%27Herlihy (1951)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Howard (1954)

How hard is it for people to use wikipedia?
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