Eddie Mekka, “Lauren & Shirley” actor who played Carmen “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa, died Saturday at his home in New Hall, California. He was 69 years old.
Eddie Mekka death:
An official Facebook account of Mekka announced the news on Thursday morning. No cause of death was given, except that he “died peacefully.”
Cindy Williams, who played Shirley on the beloved set, called Mika a “world-class talent” in a tweet that included a clip from the show.
— Cindy Williams (@Cindy_Williams1) December 2, 2021
Ragusa Williams had Shirley Fanny’s boyfriend again, once again. Named “The Big Rago” on the show, he was a part-time boxer who owned a dance studio, and dreamed of becoming a dancer and singer. In the final, he auditioned for “Hair” on Broadway, fulfilling his lifelong goal.
The Micah hit set appeared in 150 episodes of the show, which ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983. During its run, “Laverne & Shirley” was the most-watched TV show from 1977-1979, reaching 23 million households in the United States.
Born in Worcester, Mass., On June 14, 1952, he worked and taught at the Worcester County Light Opera. Before moving to Los Angeles, he received a Tony nomination in 1975 for his lead role in “The Lieutenant” on Broadway. “Laverne & Shirley” was his first major role and he was also featured in the series “Blansky’s Beauties”. Both shows were made by Gary Marshall as a spin-off of “Happy Days”, in which Mika twice appeared as Ragusa.
Micah worked permanently from the 1970s to the 2010s. Some of his other credits include “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “Family Matters,” “Guiding Light,” “24,” “It’s always sunny in Philadelphia,” “Zack & Cody’s Sweet Life.” “And two” Lauren and Shirley “TV specials.