'Happy Days' star Al Molinaro dies at 96

Los Angeles: Actor Al Molinaro, who played the beloved chef on popular American sitcom 'Happy Days', has passed away. He was 96.

Molinaro died in a California hospital on Thursday after suffering from bad gall stones. He elected not to have surgery due to his age, reports

Molinaro's son Michael confirmed the news of his demise.

Molinaro portrayed Big Al Delvecchio, who started out as the chef at Arnold's Drive-In, in the show. He eventually became owner of the diner, and remained on the show for 10 years.

He also appeared in the 'Happy Days' spinoff 'Joani Loves Chachi'.

Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Molinaro also appeared in 'The Odd Couple', 'Punky Brewster' and 'Step by Step'.

He is survived by his wife Betty and his son.

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