updated 10/19/2010 AT 7:15 AM ET
•originally published 10/19/2010 AT 7:15 PM ET
Scott Baio grew up on the set of Happy Days, and now he is sharing his memories of Tom Bosley, the ultimate TV dad, who died Tuesday at age 83.
“He was always a father to us, both on screen, of course, and backstage. He was always giving us advice – little pieces of wisdom, whether it was about acting or finances or life in general,” Baio, 50, who played The Fonz’s cousin Chachi Arcola, tells PEOPLE. “He played that father part so well because that is who he was. I don’t know what he was like at home, but in my mind and I think for the rest of us on Happy Days, there was very little distinction between Tom, the man, and Mr. C, the character.
“He was also an incredibly calm guy. He never got rattled. I think that was a really important aspect to Happy Days, where so many of us were so young. He was a very grounding influence on us.