Scott Baio is an American actor and television director who played happy-go-lucky character of Chachi Arcola in the sitcom ‘Happy Days’. Any fan of Chachi would definitely be a fan of Scott Baio who brought the character to life on screen. Scott, with his youthful looks and impish grin has performed in a variety of roles in films and television serials but the one role that catapulted him to stardom is that of Chachi—a role that he portrayed decades ago! In fact his character in ‘Happy Days’ was not even meant to be recurring one, but his popularity ensured that it became one! He was a teen star who eventually evolved into a mature actor. Though known for playing comedic roles, comedy is not the only forte of this talented actor and he proved this with his role of Dr. Jack Stewart in the medical-mystery series ‘Diagnosis: Murder’. Born to Italian parents in America, he began appearing in commercials as a kid. Due to his innocent good looks and talent he got many offers to star in television series and films. He landed a role in the film ‘Bugsy Malone’ after beating 2,000 other child stars and since then there has been no looking back.
Childhood & Early Life
He was born as Scott Vincent James Baio in New York as the third child of Mario and Rose Baio. His parents were immigrants from Italy and he grew up as a first generation American.
Scott was growing up to be an unruly child who was becoming a street bully. Concerned, his parents looked for alternative ways to channelize his energies and sent him to auditions.
Soon, he started appearing on television commercials and also began getting offers for television series and films due to his good looks and acting skills.
He went to North Hollywood High School though he did not graduate owing to his hectic acting schedule.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
He got his big break in 1976 when he was selected to play the title character in the cult youthful gangster musical, ‘Bugsy Malone’ directed by Alan Parker. The young Scott beat 2,000 other contenders to land this role! Jodie Foster also starred in the movie.
The year 1977 was a very eventful one for him as his most iconic role was handed to him. He was asked to play Chachi Arcola on the sitcom, ‘Happy Days’; he played the younger cousin of the character Fronz.
Originally the character of Chachi Arcola was meant to appear in just a few episodes. But Scott became so popular in that role that the producers decided to give him a recurring part. He became one of the most loved characters of the show.
In 1980, he starred in a television film, ‘The Boy who Drank Too Much’ which was based on a novel by Shep Greene. It was about a high school hockey player who was struggling with alcoholism.
He played the lead role in the made-for-television movie, ‘Stoned’ in 1980. The story revolves around a school student, Jack who faces immense peer pressure to abuse drugs in order to fit in.
The success of his role in ‘Happy Days’ spawned a spin-off titled ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ in 1982. He reprised his role of Chachi in the series but the series did not do well and was shelved after just 17 episodes.
He was paired along with Willie Aames in the teen sex comedy, ‘Zapped!’ which is about a science nerd who acquires telekinetic powers. It was a typical high school movie with all the cliched stereotypes.
During the early 1980s he played the lead role of Francis Geminiani in the HBO cable TV presentation ‘Gemini’ which was based on a Broadway play ‘Happy Birthday, Gemini’ by the playwright Alberto Innauranto.
He starred as Charles in the syndicated comedy series ‘Charles in Charge’ in which he played a student who works as a babysitter to make a living. The series ran from 1984 till 1990.
Continue Reading Below
Taking a break from his comedic roles he portrayed Dr. Jack Stewart in the medical mystery series ‘Diagnosis: Murder’ which ran from 1992 to 1995. He also appeared as a guest star on many television series.
He served as a co-producer on the comedy film, ‘Very Mean Men’ in 2000 which was directed by Tony Vitale. It was about two families caught up in a mob war. Baio also played the part of Paulie Minnetti in the film.
In 2005, he played himself in the horror-comedy film, ‘Cursed’ which is the story of two young people who are attacked by a werewolf. The film had many big names in its cast, but it bombed at the box office.
He appeared in the VH1 celebrity reality series ‘Scott Baio is 45…and Single’ in 2007 and its successor, ‘Scott Baio is 46… and Pregnant’ the next year.
He is best known for playing the loveable and funny character, Chachi Arcola in the American television sitcom ‘Happy Days’. This role became almost synonymous with him and made him a teenage heart throb. This was the big breakthrough which paved the way for his successful career.
Awards & Achievements
He won the award for Best Young Actor in a Television Special for ‘Stoned’ at the Third Annual Youth in Film Awards, 1980-81. He also won the Best Young Comedian in Television or Motion Pictures for ‘Happy Days’ at the same event.
Personal Life & Legacy
He married Renee Sloan in 2007. Renee became pregnant with twins but lost one of the babies during the pregnancy. She later gave birth to one baby girl who was born five weeks premature.
Scott's baby girl was tested false positive for a rare metabolic disorder prompting the him to start the Bailey Baio Angel Foundation to financially support the other families dealing with metabolic disorders.