Former child star Erin Moran, who is remembered for portraying Joanie Cunningham on ABC sitcom “Happy Days” and spin-off “Joanie Loves Chachi,” was found dead on Saturday morning by authorities in Indiana, according to TMZ. She was 56.
Born on Oct. 18, 1960 in Burbank, California, Moran made her theatrical debut at age eight in 1960 in “How Sweet It Is!” with Debbie Reynolds. That same year she joined the cast of the third – and final – season of CBS adventure drama “Daktari.” Prior to the start of “Happy Days” in 1974, Moran appeared as a guest star in numerous TV series including “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” “My Three Sons,” “Family Affair,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Don Rickles Show,” “The F.B.I.,” and “The Smith Family” (opposite her soon-to-be TV brother Ron Howard).
Moran, who also appeared in an episode of “The Waltons” in 1975 and TV movie “Twirl” in 1981, exited “Happy Days” in 1981 with co-star Scott Baio, but returned for the final season after the series was canceled.
Following “Happy Days,” she appeared in episodes of “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Diagnosis Murder” and daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
In recent years, Moran had been the subject of tabloid reports that she and her husband were living in a trailer in Indiana since losing her home to foreclosure in California.
No cause of death has been revealed at this time and an autopsy is pending.
Such sad sad news. RIP Erin. I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens. https://t.co/8HmdL0JKlf
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) April 23, 2017
OH Erin… now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth …Rest In It serenely now.. too soon
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) April 23, 2017