An actor known for his years on the 1970s hit TV show "Happy Days" received an honor Tuesday in Naples.
Scott Baio visited the Collier County Commission chambers to accept the award. He was in Fort Myers on Monday for his touring one-man show, "How Did I Get Here?"
Commissioner Rick LoCastro honored the actor with a special walk-on proclamation at Tuesday's boad meeting, declaring March 8 "Baio Backs The Blue Day." In addition to his acting career, LoCastro said, Baio is known for advocating for law enforcement.
The elected official pointed out that Baio has donated a portion of proceeds from his current tour for nonprofit fallen officers organizations.
"Scott Baio exemplifies a true supporter of the men and women in blue," LoCastro read from the proclamation. "He has always been pro-law enforcement and very vocal about it. Scott Baio's continued use of his entertainment platform to defend and protect our officers is truly inspiring.
"When many in the public and entertainment eye often shy away from supporting our heroes in blue, Scott Baio ensures his actions have always spoke louder than words or silence."
'We're here to take action': Collier commissioners to fight pricey housing issues by encouraging more options
Baio said he was honored to accept the award.
"Thank you. I'm sort of overwhelmed by this," he said. "And I just wanted you to know that, yes, I'm a big proponent of police and I do what I can.
"And I know that there are some police here and I just want you to know that I feel horrible what's happening and I think it's all swinging back the other way now. And you are needed, and you are respected. And I thank you."
Today the Board of County Commissioners proclaimed March 8th as Baio Backs the Blue Day. Scott Baio is well known for his 50 years in Hollywood, performing in movies and on television, and he is also known for advocating for law enforcement by his actions, not just words. pic.twitter.com/OGNoZ2NNKW
— Collier County Government (@CollierGov) March 8, 2022
Baio co-starred in the 1970s-'80s sitcom "Happy Days," playing a character named Chachi. He went on to star in the show "Charles in Charge" that ran for five seasons in the mid-1980s until 1990.
He became more known afterward for his conservative political beliefs. Baio spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump.
In recent years, former "Charles in Charge" co-star Nicole Eggert claimed that Baio sexually assaulted her when she was a teen. Los Angeles County prosecutors in 2018 declined to file charges against Baio, citing the expired statute of limitations, after Eggert went public with her accusations.
Baio has denied the claims, saying Eggert was obsessed with him.
Tuesday, Baio ended his comments by thanking law enforcement at the meeting, especially those in the audience.
"What absolutely amazes me ... the fact that you guys will sacrifice your life for me or whomever and you don't even know me," Baio said Tuesday in the public meeting. "And I find that absolutely amazing and selfless. And that's why I respect you. Thank you and God bless you guys. We do love you and we do need you."
Dave Osborn is the regional features editor of the Naples Daily News and News-Press. Follow him on Instagram @lacrossewriter and on Twitter @NDN_dosborn.
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Scott Baio received own day Tuesday in Naples from elected officials