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Richard Cunningham
First appearance "Love and the Happy Days"
Last appearance "Passages Part 2"
Cause/reason Joined the Army
Created by Garry Marshall
Portrayed by Ron Howard
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Reporter, Soldier, Screenwriter
Family Joanie Cunningham (sister), Marion Cunningham(mother)
Howard Cunningham (father)
Chuck Cunningham (brother)
Spouse(s) Lori Beth Cunningham (
Children Richard Cunningham Jr. (son)
Relatives Roger Phillips (cousin)
Flip Phillips (cousin)
KC Cunningham (cousin)
Sean Cunningham (grandfather)

Richard "Richie" Cunningham is a fictional character played by Ron Howard on the sitcom Happy Days. He was the brother of Joanie Cunningham and Chuck Cunningham, and friend to Fonzie, Ralph Malph, and Warren "Potsie" Weber.

Character traits

Richie Cunningham was the quintessential example of the white All-American, 1950s, affable teenager. He was exceedingly wholesome and, with his red hair and freckles, he bore more than a passing resemblance to Howdy Doody. Occasionally he got into trouble, usually in some scheme designed to attract women, but he did not seem to have a malicious bone in his body.

Many of the episodes revolved around Richie's attempts to pick up women, and there was little that the clean-cut teen would not do to land a date. If buying a new car or joining a local gang was what it took, Richie was ready to give it a shot. Whenever he was feeling particularly lucky he would sing Fats Domino's, "I found my thrill... on Blueberry Hill". On the occasions that he would become angry or annoyed, he would call any opponents "bucko," even going as far as calling The Fonz this on several occasions.

In addition to a healthy love of women, Richie harbored an enormous ambition as a writer. He first wrote for the Jefferson High Bugle, and then later became a cub reporter for the Milwaukee Journal, although in the first season episode "Because She's There" he told his blind date, Phyllis, that he wanted to eventually go to law school and become a lawyer.

During his stint on the show, Richie remained best friends with Fonzie, Ralph Malph, and Potsie Weber. He was always ready to help any of these friends if they got into trouble and also looked after his younger sister Joanie as she grew up. In the first season it was referred to that he and Potsie were best friends and grew up together since childhood; this was alluded to again in the seventh season episode, "A Potsie Is Born."

In the episode, "Richie Almost Dies", Richie gets a motorcycle despite his parents not liking this idea. Richie gets into a very serious accident while riding and lapses into a coma. The doctor says that if Richie gets out of the coma and wakes up, he will probably be fine, but the use of the word "If" worries his mother. Later in the episode, Fonzie sneaks into Richie's room and talks to the comatose Richie, saying hello for everyone and trying to help Richie pull through and telling Richie that many people need him, such as his mother, his father, Joanie Cunningham, Ralph Malph, and Potsie Weber. Finally, Fonzie says that he himself needs Richie and that Richie is his best friend and doesn't want to lose him. Fonzie, near tears, prays to God to help Richie pull through, stating, "I can fix a lot of things, but, uh... this one's all yours. So let's make a little deal. You do this for me, and I'll owe you one." Finally, Fonzie breaks down crying. The next day, Mr. Cunningham and his wife enter Richie's room to find Fonzie asleep in a chair next to Richie's bed. Despite attempts by Howard and Marion to send him home, Fonzie refuses to leave Richie's side. As Howard and Marion attempt to get him to go home, Richie wakes up, asking them to be quiet so he can sleep. At first, they pay no attention, but immediately rejoice at Richie being okay. His first question is if Lori Beth is okay, as she was on the motorcycle with him. As the doctor and Richie's parents talk with Richie, Fonzie looks up into the heavens, gives God his signature thumbs up and says his catchphrase, "Ayyyyy."

After high school, Richie went to the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and soon met his girlfriend and future wife Lori Beth in a library. Richie studied journalism at the university and always remained alert for any opportunity to further his writing career.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, he served a short stint in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Greenland. While overseas, he married his long-time girlfriend, Lori Beth, with the Fonz standing in for the absent Richie. Lori Beth visited Richie in Greenland long enough to get pregnant. Their son was very aptly named Richie Jr.

In the final season of the series, Richie returned to his dream of becoming a writer and moved to Hollywood with Lori Beth and his child to find work as a screenwriter .

Cultural References

In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin tells Number Two that his name is Richie Cunningham.

See also

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cc65ed650d/ron-howards-call-to-action-from-ron-howard-and-henry-winkler








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