'Happy Days' ' Gavan O'Herlihy Dead at 70: 'He Is Greatly Missed,' Says Actor's Agent

The actor known for playing the first portrayal of Chuck Cunningham on the sitcom died in England in September

Gavan O'Herlihy
Photo: abc/getty

Irish actor Gavan O'Herlihy has died at the age of 70.

O'Herlihy's agent, Michael Emptage, confirmed to PEOPLE on Friday the star passed away on Sept. 15 in England.

"He was a wonderful actor with a long and distinguished career in film, television, and theatre," Emptage said in a statement. "Gavan was admired and respected for his directness, his sincerity, and his honesty — he is greatly missed by all who knew him and most particularly by his adoring wife and family."

Variety and The Hollywood Reporter reported that O'Herlihy's loved ones are abstaining from disclosing his cause of death. However, his brother, Cormac O'Herlihy, confirmed to both news outlets his passing is not tied to COVID-19.

O'Herlihy is best known for his role on Happy Days. On the ABC sitcom, he played the first portrayal of Chuck Cunningham — the eldest son of Tom Bosley's character Howard Cunningham — in early episodes.

O'Herlihy's former Happy Days costar Ron Howard paid tribute to the late actor on Twitter.

"RIP Gavan," the 67-year-old filmmaker wrote. "I knew him as the 1st of 2 Chucks on #HappyDays & then as Airk in #Willow where I had the pleasure of directing him."

"A talented actor with a big free spirit," Howard added.

Gavan O'Herlihy

O'Herlihy also had a role opposite Sean Connery in the 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again, playing villain Jack Petachi. His additional film and television credits include Death Wish 3, Superman III, Lonesome Dove, Star Trek: Voyager, and Twin Peaks.

The Dublin-born star is survived by his wife, Juliette, and his children, Rogan, Lonan, David, and Daniel.

The Irish Echo was the first to report O'Herlihy's death.

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