Eddie Mekka

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Eddie Mekka
Eddie Mekka.jpg
Eddie Mekka at a Chiller Theatre convention in 2005.
Born Rudolph Edward Mekjian
(1952-06-14) June 14, 1952 (age 65)
Worcester, Massachusetts,
United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) DeLee Lively (1983-1992; divorced)
Yvonne Marie Grace (1994-present) 1 child
Cast photo of Laverne and Shirley (1976). Standing, L-R: Carole Ita White, Phil Foster, Eddie Mekka, Betty Garrett. Middle row, standing: Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams. Seated: Michael McKean, David Lander

Eddie Mekka (born June 14, 1952) is an American actor most famous for his role as Carmine "The Big Ragu" Ragusa on the sitcom Laverne & Shirley.

Life and career[edit]

Mekka was born Rudolph Edward Mekjian in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Mariam (née Apkarian), a presser, and Vaughn V. Mekjian.[1] He is of Armenian ancestry and a graduate of Burncoat High School.

In the early 1970s, Mekka headed the Worcester County Light Opera in Massachusetts, teaching young people how to sing. After performing on Broadway in The Lieutenant, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award, he moved to Los Angeles. He landed the role of Carmine for Laverne & Shirley in 1976, acting on the series until it was canceled in 1983. His recent television credits include 24, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Bold and the Beautiful, and as Detective Murdoch in the Fox television movie Catch Me If You Can. He had a small role in the Penny Marshall-directed 1992 film, A League of Their Own whose credits list him as "Mae's guy in bar."

On stage, he has performed in Hairspray at the Luxor in Las Vegas, Nevada and in a national tour of Grease with Cindy Williams. Mekka returned to off-Broadway on July 15, 2008, starring in Steve Solomon's long-running comedy My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish & I'm In Therapy! at the Westside Theatre.[2]

Mekka reunited with his Laverne & Shirley co-star Cindy Williams in a November 2008 regional production of the Renée Taylor-Joseph Bologna comedy play It Had to Be You.[3]

In 2008, Mekka wrapped production in the independent film Code Enforcer. He starred opposite Erin Moran of Happy Days.

Mekka starred as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, New York, from April 29, 2010, until June 20, 2010.[4]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1976–83 Laverne & Shirley Carmine Ragusa Main cast (150 episodes)
1977 Blansky's Beauties Joey DeLuca Main cast (13 episodes)
1977 Happy Days Carmine Ragusa Episode: "Joanie's Weird Boyfriend"
1979 Greatest Heroes of the Bible Uri Episode: "The Story of Esther"
1979 Happy Days Carmine Ragusa Episode: "Fonzie's Funeral: Part 2"
1979 Fantasy Island Johnny Detroit / Wilbur Wilson Episode: "Hit Man/The Swimmer"
1979 The Love Boat Mike Episode: "The Grass Is Always Greener/Three Stages of Love/Oldies But Goodies"
1980 Fantasy Island Ken Jason Episode: "Unholy Wedlock/Elizabeth"
1981 The Love Boat Stanley Corson Episode: "I Love You Too, Smith/Mamma and Me/Sally's Paradise"
1981 The 6th Annual Circus of the Stars Himself (performer) TV special
1982 Assignment Berlin Lightning
1982 The Love Boat Bert Brodie / Jason Clark Episode: "Mothers Don't Do That/Marrying for Money/Substitute Lover"
1982 The 7th Annual Circus of the Stars Himself (performer) TV special
1983 Fantasy Island Charles Episode: "Naughty Marietta/The Winning Ticket"
1988 Bum Rap Sammy
1989 Beaches Actor 3
1989 Moonlighting Guido Viola Episode: "In 'N Outlaws"
1989 True Blue Elvis fanatic Episode: "Oldies, But Goodies"
1990 Mulberry Street Vincent Savoia
1990 Family Matters Charlie Episode: "Flashpants"
1990 The Munsters Today Mr. Sweetzer Episode: "The Reel Munsters"
1992 A League of Their Own Mae's Guy in Bar
1992–93 Guiding Light Grady
1993 Taking the Heat Barbaro TV movie
1994 Family Matters Mr. Nutting Episode: "Sink or Swim"
1994 The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A. Gus TV movie
1994 California Dreams Uncle Frank Episode: "Harley and the Marlboro Man"
1995 Dream On Mel Episode: "Significant Author"
1995 The Laverne & Shirley Reunion Himself TV special
1996 Weird Science Tommy Svachino Episode: "Men in Tights"
1997 The Big Easy Joey LaVern Episode: "Heavenly Body"
1997 Top of the World Joe Burns
1998 The Jamie Foxx Show Danny Episode: "It's All Good, Fellas"
1998 Sunset Beach Summons Process Server Episodes #1.416 and #1.417
1998 Deadly Game Det. Murdoch TV movie
2002 Power Rangers Wild Force Don Episode: "The Tornado Spin"
2002 Laverne & Shirley: Together Again Himself TV special
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Himself (cameo)
2004 Land of the Free? Jerry
2005 The Bold and the Beautiful Las Vegas Minister Episodes #1.4581 and #1.4582
2006 Love Made Easy Mobo
2006 24 Ned Episode: "Day 5: 7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m."
2006 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Bobby Thunderson Episode: "Hundred Dollar Baby"
2006 The Last Stand Art
2006 Dreamgirls Club Manager
2007 Crossing Jordan James Talbot Episode: "Shattered"
2007 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Western Director Episode: "The Suite Life Goes Hollywood: Part 2"
2007 Stuck in the Past Grandpa
2008 ER Jenkins Episode: "Under Pressure"
2008 Dirty Jokes the Movie
2008 Pastor Greg FJ Episodes: "Chances" and "Series Finale"
2009 C Me Dance Lowell
2011 The Young and the Restless Bud Episodes #1.9753 and #1.9754
2012 Childrens Hospital Frankie Episode: "Wisedocs"
2013 Through a Mother's Eyes Dr. Henry Myer
2014 Heaven Help Us Chuck Short film

References[edit]

External links[edit]