HomeEntertainment‘Laverne & Shirley’ Actor Eddie Mekka Dies at 69

‘Laverne & Shirley’ Actor Eddie Mekka Dies at 69

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Bettmann / Contributor / via Getty Images

Sadly, Eddie Mekka, who was best known for his role as Carmine “The Big Ragu” Ragusa on the hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley” has passed away. The actor died at the age of 69.

News of his death has just been released to the public, but the actor passed away back on November 27. He lived in Newhall, Califonia at the time of his death.

Eddie Mekka from ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Passes Away

According to the New York Post, the news was shared by his dear friend who also graduated from the Berklee College of Music, Pat Benti. He shared the news on Facebook and wrote, “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.”

At this time, the family of Eddie Mekka is looking to keep the “Laverne & Shirley” star’s cause of death private. It’s unclear if Mekka had suffered from any previous health conditions prior to his sudden death.

Mekka will always be remembered as the iconic and hilarious boyfriend of Shirley Feeney. He was a favorite on the TV show, which aired from 1976 to 1983. His character had quite the iconic musical abilities and would often break out into random songs throughout the show.

The crooner character also adopted the popular Tony Bennett-Esque catchphrase, “You know I’d go from rags to riches!” There was no shortage of hilarious moments that started with “The Big Ragu.”

Other Career Moments for Mekka

Besides his role in “Laverne & Shirley,” Eddie Mekka appeared in a number of different roles throughout his career.

His first major role was in “The Lieutenant.” This was a 1975 Broadway production that actually would earn him a Tony nomination. Not a bad start in the business, after all.

He would eventually expand beyond his roles in theater and took on several TV projects. He was a series regular in the 1977 show “Blansky’s Beauties” as well. Beyond regular-appearing roles, Mekka would pop into several popular shows or movies for outstanding cameo appearances.

This includes visits to “The Young and the Restless,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and “The League Of Their Own.”

The latter is probably the most popular and recognizable. He got to share an iconic dance with one of the main characters in the film, Madonna.

“The League Of Their Own” also happened to be directed by Penny Marshall, Eddie Mekka’s eventual co-star on “Laverne & Shirley.” She passed away in 2018, which leaves Michael McKean and Cindy Williams are the only two surviving members of the show.