O'Herlihy was eulogized by his agent, Michael Emptage, as "a wonderful actor with a long and distinguished career in film, television, and theatre." His "Happy Days" co-star Ron Howard wrote on Twitter that he remembered the actor as "a talented actor with a big free spirit." Howard later directed O'Herlihy in the 1988 film "Willow."
O'Herlihy, the son of the late Oscar nominee Dan O'Herlihy, played basketball-absorbed Chuck on nine episodes of "Happy Days" during Season 1. Before that, Ric Carrott had played the character on a segment of "Love, American Style" entitled "Love and the Happy Days" that served as a pilot for the series. O'Herlihy was replaced in the role by Randolph Roberts for two episodes of Season 2 before Chuck vanished — never to be seen or referenced again.
Along with many TV guest spots, O'Herlihy appeared in the films "A Wedding" (1978), "Superman III" (1983), "Never Say Never Again" (1983), "Death Wish 3" (1985), and "The Descent: Part 2" (2009).