‘Happy Days’: Tom Bosley’s Real-Life Wife Made an Appearance on the Show

by Matthew Memrick
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Tom Bosley’s real-life wife made a flirtatious and memorable appearance on a 1981 episode of “Happy Days.”

According to MeTV, the two ended up as bowling buddies in “Howard’s Bowling Buddy” when Mrs. Cunningham (Marion Ross) is injured.

Patricia Carr, who had been married the 54-year-old Bosley for a year, played a lovely bank teller named Fern. She was 44 at that time, and the couple would be married for 30 years before her husband’s 2010 death.

Howard’s Bowling Buddy A Charmer on ‘Happy Days’

Carr played Fern Flagg is Mr. Cunningham’s mixed doubles replacement. The husband, with Flagg, seems to be a little smitten at the hot blonde’s attention, so he boasts of his workout regimen. Cunningham assures his wife that Flagg is a “spinster,” so there are no jealous feelings. 

When show star Fonzie meets Fern, he’s suspicious of the teller and even goes as far as to tell the woman that the Cunninghams had a 27-year marriage. He tries to infer she needs to understand her boundaries.

If Fonzie’s protectiveness of the Cunninghams is well-deserved, it would be fun to see the audience’s reaction to Carr’s show performance. Many show followers probably see the Cunninghams as the perfect couple and would side with Mrs. Cunningham.

Besides, could America handle a terrible breakup like the Cunninghams on “Happy Days.” Probably not. The show did go on for another three years of its 10-year-run.

Don’t believe me that Carr was married to Bosley? Flagg’s show credit is for Patricia Carr-Bosley, and the couple was happily married for 30 years.

The episode just shows fans how great a job Carr played in the episode. Unfortunately, she only had a few acting roles, including “The Love Boat” and the 1981 Richard Gere movie “American Gigolo.”

Bosley’s First Wife Died Early In Show’s Success

Tom Bosley’s first wife, Jean Eliot, got sick and died from a terminal illness in 1978.

Her death left Bosley to be the only one caring for the couple’s 11-year-old daughter, Amy. Eliot died at age 45, and details of her death are unavailable.

“After we lost her, I had to go through that extremely awkward period of being both a father and a mother,” Bosley said in an interview. “Then all of a sudden, getting over the loss of my wife and realizing that I had to go on, that life has to go on. And I went through that terrible phase of having to date.”

After “Happy Days,” the actor continued his long acting career. He appeared in “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “ER,” and many movies.

Bosley died in 2010 after suffering heart failure at a hospital near his Palm Springs, Calif. home. Bosley’s agent, Sheryl Abrams, said he was also battling lung cancer at the time.

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