Tom Bosley, actor who personified paternal authority, especially on Broadway as a big-city mayor in the musical “Fiorello!” and on television as a Middle American dad in the hit comedy “Happy Days,” died Tuesday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 83.

The cause was cancer, reported a statement by CBS Films, whose president, Amy Baer, is Bosley’s daughter.

Bosley is best known as Howard Cunningham, the gruff but reliably kind father of teenage children in 1950s Milwaukee in the nostalgic situation comedy “Happy Days.” Bosley also gained fame on stage, playing Fiorello La Guardia, the populist mayor of New York, in “Fiorello!” The show itself won the Pulitzer Prize, and. Bosley, a newcomer to Broadway, won a Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical. He never missed one of the show’s almost 800 performances.

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Eiko Watanabe is a Blast staff writer in New York

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