Anyone over 40 or has watched TV Land or any number of channels specializing in classic TV reruns knows one of the best TV sitcoms of all times; “Happy Days.” Sadly one of it’s beloved stars is dead at only 56 years of age and it’s a story often told when such a young person gains such stardom at a tender age.
Erin Moran who famously played Joanie Cunningham on “Happy Days” and its spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi” has died … TMZ is reporting:
We’re told authorities in Indiana got a call jis reporust after 4 PM ET Saturday from someone reporting an “unresponsive female.” EMT’s arrived and found Erin Moran’s body … she was already dead.
Moran shot to spotlight in the early 70s when she was cast on “Happy Days” as Joanie, the younger sister of Ron Howard’s character. She continued the role in 1982 alongside Scott Baio in “Joanie Loves Chachi” but the show only lasted one season.
Moran was just 14 when she signed on to play Ron Howard’s sister in the TV classic “Happy Days,” which aired from 1974 to 1983. Her TV credits also include “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
But as a lot of child actors stories unfold, so did this one:
In 2012, Moran and three of her “Happy Days” co-stars – Williams, Marion Ross, Don Most and the widow of Tom Bosley – sued CBS for $10 million, claiming they never received merchandise royalties they were owed under their contracts. The case was later settled out of court. Neither Henry Winkly, who famously starred as the Fonz on the show, nor Ron Howard were part of the lawsuit.
Erin had a tough time after her “Happy Days” stardom … a combination of drinking and bizarre behavior that eventually landed her in a trailer park in Indiana. She had run out of money and was reportedly kicked out of the mobile home she shared with husband Steve Fleischmann.
Through her career, Moran also landed roles on “Murder, She Wrote,” “Desperation Boulevard,” and “Celebrity Fit Club.”
She was only 56.
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