Actor Eddie Mekka passed away at 69 years old.
The actor was known for playing Carmine Ragusa, also known as The Big Ragoo, on “Laverne & Shirley.” He appeared in approximately 150 episodes of the sitcom that ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983. The sitcom was rated as the most-watched show on TV from 1977-1999.
Born in 1952, Mekka earned a Tony nomination for starring in “The Lieutenant” on Broadway. He also appeared on several other shows, such as “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Family Matters,” “24,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.”
Although no cause of death was released, an update to his official Facebook account said that he “passed away peacefully” in his home in Newhall, California, on Saturday, November 27, 2021.
Mourning The Loss Of An Acting Legend
The official statement on his Facebook account read:
“It is with deep regret that we share with you the passing of our beloved Eddie Mekka. Eddie passed away peacefully in his Newhall, California home on Saturday, November 27, 2021. He was 69 years old. At this time, we do ask that all media inquiries be withheld during his family’s time of grief and mourning. We welcome you to share your memories of Eddie and your condolences to his family on this fan page. Rest In Peace.”
Fans left almost two hundred comments on the post sharing their condolences.
“I am beyond heartbroken to hear that Eddie has passed away,” one wrote. “I just spoke to him a little over a week ago. We have been friends since 1976 and worked together all this time. R I P my dear friend.”
“Oh my god. This is so sad,” another commented. “Eddie was in ‘The Lieutenant’ on Broadway with my dad in 1975. We caught up for lunch a bunch recently.”
“This breaks my heart,” another shared. “I worked with Eddie in Fiddler (I think his 1st as Tevye) and Forum, and it was so easy. He gave so much on stage in scenes and was a rip to hang with after the curtain went down.”
Another wrote, “I am so sad to hear this news. He was more than just the ‘Big Ragoo.’ He was an exceptionally talented and caring man. Rest in Peace, Eddie.”
Former Co-Stars Pay Their Respects
— Cindy Williams (@Cindy_Williams1) December 2, 2021
A few of his co-stars took to Twitter to share their condolences and celebrate his humor and talent.
Co-star Cindy Williams, who played the titular Shirley, tweeted, “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…” She also included a link to a YouTube clip of Mekka on “Laverne & Shirley.”
Another co-star, Michael McKean, tweeted, “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.”