Was Eddie Mekka married? Laverne and Shirley's 'The Big Ragu' dead at 69

Eddie Mekka, a Worcester native, became famous in Hollywood as part of the cast of the popular TV show 'Laverne & Shirley'


                            Was Eddie Mekka married? Laverne and Shirley's 'The Big Ragu' dead at 69
In 'Laverne & Shirley', which ran on ABC from 1976 and 1983, Mekka played Carmine Ragusa, better known as 'The Big Ragu' (Twitter and Facebook)

Eddie Mekka, the Worcester native who became famous in Hollywood as part of the cast of the popular TV show 'Laverne & Shirley', has died aged 69. Mekka, who was born in Worcester in June 1952, graduated from Burncoat High School in 1970. He then went to Berklee College of Music in Boston.

In 'Laverne & Shirley', which ran on ABC from 1976 and 1983, the star played Carmine Ragusa, better known as 'The Big Ragu'. Carmine was Shirley's (Cindy Williams) boyfriend in the series. The character was known for his singing and the line, “You know I’d go from rags to riches!” Apart from Mekka, fans are also mourning the deaths of 'Home and Away' star, Dieter Brummer, 'Sex and the City' star Willie Garson, 'X-Factor' star Thomas Wells and more

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The veteran TV and stage actor got his start at the Worcester County Light Opera in Massachusetts as a voice instructor. In 1975, he landed his first major role in Broadway’s 'The Lieutenant', which earned him a Tony nomination. Mekka, who was a series regular in 'Blansky’s Beauties' (1977), also later appeared in various cameo roles, such as 'The Young and the Restless', 'The Bold and the Beautiful', and 'It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia'.

Mekka was married twice in his life. He was first married to actress DeLee Lively from 1983 to 1992, but the duo divorced later. He married Yvonne Marie Grace in 1994. The pair remained married and share daughter Mia. 

How did Eddie Mekka die?

The star's death was confirmed on Thursday, November 27, on his official Facebook fan page. His cause of death is yet to be revealed. "It is with deep regret that we share with you the passing of our beloved Eddie Mekka. Eddie passed away peacefully in his Newhall, California home on Saturday, November 27, 2021. He was 69 years old. At this time, we do ask that all media inquiries be withheld during his family's time of grief and mourning. We welcome you to share your memories of Eddie and your condolences to his family on this fan page. Rest In Peace Eddie," the post reads. 



 

What is social media saying?

Tributes poured in on social media as fans mourned the death of their favorite star. "Eddie Mecca was a huge part of my childhood! I loved “The Big Ragoo”. He was a wonderful dancer and comedic actor. Rest In Peace sir!" one user wrote on Twitter. "RIP Eddie Mecca…He was one of my first tv heartthrobs, right after David Cassidy," another user said.



 



 

"Hold the hammers!” Rest Well Big Ragu. I had the pleasure of working with Eddie many times. You were a character. After learning of my last name, “Two Mecca’s don’t make a right!” one user wrote, while another said in a Facebook comment, "I am beyond heartbroken to hear that Eddie has passed away. I just spoke to him a little over a week ago. We have been friends since 1976 and worked together all this time. R I P my dear friend."