Gavan O’Herlihy, the Missing Chuck Cunningham on 'Happy Days,' Dies at 70

Older brother of Richie and Joanie vanished without a mention after Season 2


Gavan O’Herlihy, who played Chuck Cunningham on Season 1 of “Happy Days,” has died, according to Metro UK. He was 70.

Chuck Cunningham, the older brother of Richie (Ron Howard) and Joanie (Erin Moran), appeared in 9 episodes of Season 1. By Season 2, the part was recast to Randolph Roberts. But after two episodes with Roberts, Chuck just disappeared and was never heard from again.

The vanishing spawned the phrase “Chuck Cunningham Syndrome,” which is used when a character just goes away without any explanation. In the real world, the Chuck character was cut from the plans in response to the popularity of Fonzie (Henry Winkler), who took on the role of the unofficial big brother to Richie and his friends.

O’Herlihy also had an arc in “Lonesome Dome,” and appeared in films “Willow” and “Superman III.”

Watch “Happy Days” creator Garry Marshall explain the whole Chuck Cunningham thing below.

More to come…

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