Eddie Mekka, who starred in ‘Laverne and Shirley,’ dies aged 69

The news was given by his brother Warren Mekjian

Elizabeth Aubrey
Friday 03 December 2021 00:00
Comments

Eddie Mekka, star of the ABC sitcom Laverne and Shirley has died, aged 69.

Mekka, who played Carmine “The Big Ragu Ragusa” on the series, died at his home in Newhall, California last weekend.

The news was given to TMZ by his brother Warren Mekjian, who said Mekka died on 27 November.

Mekjian told TMZ that Mekka had been treated for blood clots in hospital recently although no cause of death has yet been revealed.

TMZ reports that police were called to Mekka’s home after neighbours and friends hadn’t heard from him for a few days.

The news was also confirmed in a Facebook post from a friend who wrote: “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 his fan page. Rest In Peace Eddie. We had some fun.”

Born in Massachusetts, Mekka began his career on Broadway in 1975 in The Lieutenant. He earned a Tony Award nomination in 1975 for best actor in a musical after his debut.

He then moved to Los Angeles where he was cast in Laverne and Shirley, where he played Shirley’s (Cindy Williams) high-school sweetheart and on-off love interest.

Paying tribute on Twitter, Williams wrote: “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 marvellous memories...,” alongside a video of him on the show.

Mekka went on to star in shows including Blanksy’s Beauties as well as Family Matters, Fantasy Island, and Happy Days.

His film credits include the musical drama Dreamgirls, Top of the World and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in