Eddie Mekka

Inside Biography

A prominent TV figure of the 70s, American actor Eddie Mekka records more than 50 acting credits throughout his career journey of nearly 5 decades. Widely popular for portraying Carmine "The Big Ragu" Ragusa in the TV series Laverne & Shirley (1976- 83), the Massachusetts native saw the struggle in the early days & perceived success with experiences in commercials & Broadways.

Throughout these years, the father of one from two marriages has made notable TV appearances in Blansky's Beauties, The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island, along with film works in A League of Their Own (1992), Top of the World (1997), and Dreamgirls (2006).

Early Life 

The son of World War II veteran Vaughn Mekjian and presser Mariam, Eddi Mekka was born on June 14, 1952, in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

His birth name is Rudolph Edward Mekjian. An American by nationality, Mekka has mixed ethnicity- his father is Armenian while his mother is Italian. As of May 2021, The Love Boat actor is 68 years old and has a height of 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm). 

Early Days To Success

Upon graduation from Burncoat High School, Eddi, during the early 70s worked in Worcester County Light Opera in Massachusetts and taught people how to sing, while he himself prepared for the stage approach in leisure time.

Eddie Mekka first performed on Broadway in The Lieutenant which earned him a Tony Award nomination. He then moved to Los Angeles and played the role of Carmine "The Big Ragu" Ragusa in the ABC hit sitcom Laverne & Shirley from 1976 to 1983 (150 episodes) co-starring Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, and David L. Lander.

CAPTION: Veteran actor Eddie Mekka as Carmine Ragusa in Laverne & Shirley saw his breakthrough in the 70s SOURCE: IMDB

Famous Tv Series

Moreover, throughout the 70s & 80s, the American actor made recurring appearances in the TV series: Blansky's Beauties (1977), The Love Boat (1979-82)Fantasy Island (1979-83), Moonlighting (1989), and True Blue (1989).

During the 90s, he was guest-cast in Family Matters, Guiding Light, California Dreams, The Big Easy, and Sunset Beach, along with film credits in A League of Their Own (1992)Top of the World (1997).

Famous Movies

Having worked in 24, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Bold and the Beautiful, Eddie Mekka saw the role of Detective Murdoch in the TV film Catch Me If You Can (2002) alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher WalkenAmy Adams, and Jennifer Garner.

Eddie returned to off-Broadway in July 2008 and starred in Steve Solomon's comedy show, My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish & I'm In Therapy! at the Westside Theatre.

Further stage credits of the actor include:

  • Hairspray (2007, at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (2010, at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, New York) 
  • Beau Jest (2016, at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas)
  • Run for Your Wife (2018, at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in Hampton)
  • Barefoot in the Park (2018, at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas) 

Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Eddie Mekka has an estimated net worth of $500,000 as of 2022. Being a successful Broadway and film actor, he has earned a considerable amount of money throughout his career spanning nearly 5 decades. Even more, Mekka has worked in TV commercials as well; for Vegas.com, "Avia" dental plans, and TVs.

During his career break, Laverne & Shirley allegedly saw him thousands of dollars an episode. While the exact figure of Mekka's earnings is yet to be out, his annual payroll stands around the 6-digit figure. On average, an actor in the United States sums up to $57,000 per year, while the pay may rise depending upon the actor's fame, experience & size of the project.

Mekka Is Married Twice 

There is no denying that Eddie Mekka has seen success after success with his hard work & dedication, but seems his charm didn't work on marriage once. The Laverne & Shirley actor is a one-time divorcee; was in a marital relationship with then-wife (first) DeLee Lively, a Broadway & TV actress.

Mekka and Lively met while on the set of Laverne & Shirley, and following years of dating, they married on May 28, 1983. However, it was until 1992 that the duo parted ways with divorce, sharing no children.

CAPTION: Eddie Mekka and his ex-wife DeLee Lively divorced after 9 years of marriage SOURCE: Pinterest

Second Wife

Both of them have moved on since then. DeLee later married actor Robert Torti, with who she shares four children; Faith Torti, Chloe Torti, Zachary Torti, and Ashlee Torti

On the other, The Lieutenant star exchanged vows with his second wife Yvonne Marie Grace on February 8, 1994. Together, the couple shares a daughter named Mila.


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by Arsad, 26 Jul, 2022

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