Eddie Mekka's Biography

Eddie Mekka is best known to television audiences for his role as 'Carmine Ragusa', The Big Ragu on the hit ABC-TV sitcom, "Laverne & Shirley". He played the role of 'Carmine' for the show's entire run. The role of 'Carmine' lead to numerous guest appearances on many of the most popular series of the 70s, 80s and 90s. Eddie was seen on such television shows as "The Love Boat", "Fantasy Island", "Moonlighting", "The New Rockford Files".

 

More recently Eddie appeared on "Family Matters" as 'Officer Charlie Canelli' and "The Jamie Foxx Show". Eddie also enjoyed long runs on two daytime dramas. He appeared as 'Grady', Jenna's sidekick on television's oldest daytime drama, CBS-TVs "Guiding Light" and NBC-TVs sudser, "Sunset Beach". While on "Guiding Light", soap magazines labeled him "The Joe Pesci of Daytime".

On the big screen has been seen in several popular movies. Eddie played Bette Midler's cohort in the movie "Beaches". He also appeared as Madonna's boyfriend in the movie "A League of their Own" ,'Lt. Vincent Barbero' in "Taking The Heat" with Lynn Whitfield and as 'The Prophet' in Garry Marshall's film, "Dear God". Most recently, he finished filming "On Top Of The World" directed by Sydney Feury and starring Dennis Hopper

 

Also at home on the stage, Eddie got his start doing musical theatre as a teenager in Worcester, Massachusetts. Also a star gymnast, Eddie decided to turn his attention to theatre and appeared in the chorus of a 1969 production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Worcester County Light Opera Company. It was that role that lead to a short stint at the Boston Conservatory and training under the guidance of famed choreographer Phil Black. In 1974, Eddie got his "big break" on Broadway in the Vietnam War-themed rock opera, The Lieutenant. It was for The Lieutenant that he received a Best Actor nomination by both the Tony and Drama Desk committees. Although The Lieutenant ran for only three weeks, Eddie also appeared in such shows as Jumpers, The Magic Show with Doug Henning, Damn Yankees with Gwen Verdon and Ray Walston.

Eddie's love of theatre continues today as he continues to entertain audiences across the country with his stage roles. Eddie has taken on such roles as 'Groucho Marx' in An Evening With Groucho, 'Nicky Deluca' in The Right Step (a show he wrote, direted choreographed and starred in) and 'Pseudolus' in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.

Since 1993, he has been steadily performing the role of 'Tevye' in Fiddler on the Roof. Critics have given him rave reviews saying "Eddie's 'Tevye' makes you forget all others!"

In 2003 he finished back-to-back productions of Art with Richard Kline and Greg Mullavey and the American version of Run For Your Wife with Linda Blair, Charlene Tilton, Johnny Whittaker and Murray Langston (The Unknown Comic) also working with the play's author, Ray Cooney. Other productions Eddie has starred in include, the first National tour of The Goodbye Girl, Chess, Jake's Women, Little Shop of Horrors and They're Playing Our Song, to name just a few. Eddie recently played father to his daughter Mia onstage and off when Mia appeared with him in 2003 as Tevye's youngest daughter in Fiddler on the Roof at the Bucks County and Pocono Playhouses in Pennsylvania.

When not on the stage, television or on the big screen, Eddie can be seen all around the country touring with his niteclub act.

Eddie is always happy to respond that his greatest achievement in life is his relationship with his wife Yvonne and his daughter, Mia.