Al Molinaro, who played the beloved chef at the drive-in on "Happy Days" ... died in a California hospital on Friday.
Molinaro's son confirmed the actor's death ... telling us he had very bad gall stones, but Al elected not to have surgery due to his age. He was 96.
...Al is survived by his wife, Betty and his son Michael .. who tells us the actor was extremely proud of his family and his roots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rest in peace.