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1970s / Chuck Cunningham Vanishes
When Happy Days debuted in 1974, there were three Cunningham children: Joanie, Richie, and Chuck. Chuck, the eldest, was supposed to be a mentoring-type, college-age big brother to middle child Richie. The jockish Chuck's roles were small--so small that few viewers noticed that two different actors (Gavan O'Herlihy, shown in the photo; and Randolph Roberts) were cast as Chuck. By 1975, when the show went to live tapings and Fonzie became Richie's mentor, Chuck was simply dropped from the show with no explanation. He was only mentioned in one episode after the first season--and that was a flashback episode where his presence had to be explained. Several times in later episodes, Howard and Marion Cunningham both refer to having just two children. Tom Bosley, who played Howard, liked to joke in interviews that Chuck had 'accepted a full scholarship at the University of Outer Mongolia.'