‘Happy Days’ Icon Tom Bosley Being Unable to Find Work as a Sports Announcer Led to Legendary Acting Career

by Jonathan Howard
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Things don’t always go the way we expect them to. That goes for Tom Bosley, the legendary actor from Happy Days among other shows. While he is most known for his work on the iconic sitcom as Howard Cunningham, he accumulated quite the resume. It wasn’t just TV he excelled in either, he was a wonderful stage actor as well.

However, with all that said, Bosley didn’t think he would end up as an actor. In fact, when he came to DePaul University, he had his sights set on becoming a sports announcer. He had served in the Navy in World War II and was looking to make a career in the late 1940s, early 1950s as a broadcast talent.

Back in 1991, the actor revealed his early career intentions. After seeing the intense competition in the world of sports broadcasting, he changed his mind quickly. “I found that the competition to be a sports announcer was much too difficult,” the actor said at the age of 63.

“I thought acting was probably a better way to go,” Bosley admitted. What a career choice. Also, could you imagine someone now, shrugging and thinking, ‘Getting into sports media is too hard, I think I’ll go for Hollywood!’ However, for someone like Tom Bosley, the choice was a no-brainer.

In fact, while at DePaul, Bosley made his stage debut. In a production of Our Town along with the Canterbury Players at the Fine Arts Theatre, the actor got his first taste of the spotlight. He would go on to work more in local productions in Illinois.

Tom Bosley on Stage, ‘Happy Days’, and More

Just 12 years after his debut as a college student, Bosley went on to star in Fiorello! The show is based on the story of Fiorello H. La Guardia, whom Bosley starred as. The former mayor of New York City had quite a career. As a reform Republican from 1934-1945, the mayor took on the political machine that was Tammany Hall, earning him praise and making him a political legend.

For his role as Fiorello, Bosley earned heaps of critical acclaim. In fact, he won a Tony Award in 1960 for his work in the role. He would go on to star in plenty of movies throughout the 1960s earning more and more of a reputation. His time as Howard Cunningham made him a household name. He also made regular appearances on Murder, She Wrote as Sheriff Amos Tupper.

The actor would go on to appear in commercials, again on broadway, in numerous films, shows, and other media. He was a legendary actor. Tom Bosley passed away in 2010 at the age of 83 after a battle with a staph infection. He will be remembered for all the characters he played and the entertainment he gave to fans throughout his career.

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