Eddie Mekka dead at 69: Laverne & Shirley actor passes away as fans pay tribute to The Big Ragu

ACTOR Eddie Mekka from the show Laverne & Shirley has died aged 69.

The star passed away on November 27 at his home in Newhall, California. No cause of death has yet been given.


Mekka began his career in 1975, where he starred in Broadway musical The Lieutenant.

He won a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical following his debut.

Mekka then moved to Los Angeles where he was cast in Laverne & Shirley – a Happy Days spin-off.

He played Shirley's high school sweetheart, The Big Ragu, and was involved in a steamy on-again, off-again romance.

He also starred in sitcom Blanksy's Beauties, which aired for 13 episodes, before moving to New York to star in musical Hair.

Other credits include features in The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Moonlighting, True Blue and Family Matters.

He also had a cameo in A League of Their Own in 1992, and starred in musical Hairspray in Las Vegas.

Mekka was married to actress DeLee Lively from 1983 to 1992, before marrying Yvonne Marie Grace in 1994. The pair had one daughter, Mia.

Cindy Williams and Michael McKeon are now the only surviving cast members from Laverne & Shirley.


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