Eddie Mekka, who most famously played Carmine, the “Big Ragu,” on “Laverne & Shirley” has died … TMZ has learned.
Eddie’s brother, Warren Mekjian, tells TMZ … Eddie was found dead at his home in Newhall, CA on Saturday. We’re told friends and neighbors became concerned when they hadn’t heard from him in a few days and called cops to go over and check on him.
Warren tells us Eddie had recently been hospitalized for blood clots and could barely walk … there’s no indication his death was suspicious or that there was any foul play involved.
Eddie played Carmine Ragusa — Shirley’s boyfriend on the show from 1976-1983. Carmine would regularly sing on the show. Eddie also had a role on one of “Laverne & Shirley” producer Garry Marshall‘s other shows, “Blansky’s Beauties” — and he’d been nominated for a Tony Award for his role in “The Lieutenant” … prior to his TV career taking off.
Like a lot of 70s and 80s TV stars, Eddie also had guest roles on “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat” … and later he was on the ABC hit, “Family Matters.”
Eddie has one daughter, Mia, with YvonneMarie Grace who he married in 1994.