John Hillerman dead: 'Magnum, PI' actor dies at 84
You may think of him as Higgins, but to me he'll always be the original Howard Johnson. "One flavor."
By the way, that fictional origin of the ice cream shop is not as far from the truth as you may assume. The real-life original Howard Johnson's had three flavors, but ol' Howie didn't actually get started until 1925, so it's not that crazy to assume it might have been just a single flavor in the old West.