Biography

Heavyset, hawk-nosed Italian-American character actor Al Molinaro maintained a constant association with two series roles throughout his career, both down-to-earth and sweet-natured, paternal types: that of Murray Greshner, better known as Murray the Cop, on the small-screen version of The Odd Couple (1970-1983), and that of Alfred Delvecchio, the second proprietor of Arnold's Drive-In, on Happy Days (a role maintained from 1976 through 1982). The Wisconsin-based location of Days hit close to home for Molinaro, as a real-life native of Kenosha, WI. Born in 1919, he began signing for acting roles in the early to mid-'50s and achieved his big break when very briefly cast as Agent 44 on Mel Brooks' spy spoof Get Smart (before Victor French replaced him). Molinaro reportedly met Odd Couple producer Garry Marshall while enrolled in acting classes with Marshall's sister, Penny, and thereby landed the part of Murray. That led, in turn, to the Happy Days casting in the fall of 1976 when series co-star Pat Morita left to headline his own short-lived series, Mr. T & Tina. Following Days, Molinaro signed for very infrequent guest roles on series and permanently settled in Los Angeles, where he did occasional theatrical performances and made public appearances. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi