The actor died on Dec. 2 at a hospice care facility in Youngstown, Ohio, after “a difficult three-and-half-weeks” in ICU battling the virus, his family announced in an obituary.
Friedkin’s family encouraged “everyone to get vaccinated and boosted to protect their family and community” in its tribute.
“He was a gift to all who knew him as an amazing son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, great-uncle and friend,” the family wrote.
“Gary lived his life to the absolute fullest, bringing endless laughs to his family and many friends, while never letting the obstacles he faced get in his way,” it added. “Gary put countless smiles on people’s faces and left so many with their own special ‘Gary story.’”
He appeared as cook Clarence in three episodes of “Happy Days” and had roles in the 1981 comedy “Under the Rainbow,” the 1982 film “Young Doctors In Love” and the 1992 animation “Cool World.” His last movie credit was for “Mother’s Day” in 2016.
“While Gary may have been short of stature, he was a giant amongst his family and friends,” his family said. “His legacy will live on as stories are told and retold for years to come by all who loved him.”
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