Erin Moran is another star who has gone too soon, which is what her Happy Days co-stars have posted on social media after she was found dead today. If you’re a baby boomer, then you remember Erin Moran’s character, Joanie, from the iconic sitcom Happy Days, followed by the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi. Both Henry Winkler and Ron Howard posted their sad goodbyes to their former co-star on social media.
The Daily Mail reports that authorities in Indiana responded to a call of an “unresponsive female” on Saturday afternoon. When they arrived at about 4 p.m., Erin was already dead. It was only moments after Erin Moran’s death was announced that Henry Winkler, who played Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in the 1970s popular show, tweeted a sad goodbye to Moran.
Winkler tweeted, “OH Erin, now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth, Rest In It serenely now, too soon.”
Ron Howard, who played Richie, the older brother of Joanie from the Cunningham family on Happy Days, also posted a tribute on social media just minutes after Moran’s death announcement.
Howard tweeted about his former co-star, “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.”
It didn’t take long for the news to spread through the social media, with many of the Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi fans expressing their sadness of Erin Moran’s passing.
Moran fell on some hard times as an adult, which is not rare for a former child star. She started acting at only 10, and by the time she was 14, she was signed on to play Joanie on Happy Days. She rocketed to fame and became America’s little sister and Richie Cunningham’s younger sibling.
Happy Days was a unique sitcom, as it was filmed in the 1970’s and 1980’s, yet it was set in the 1950’s era. Scott Baio was Moran’s co-star in Happy Days as her love interest. He also co-starred with Moran in Joanie Loves Chachi, which was the short-lived spin-off of Happy Days.
Happy Days, which debuted in 1974, ran for 10 years, then her character, Joanie, moved on to the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi. This show was only on the air for about a year when it was canceled.
According to the Daily Mail, Moran was reportedly living off the monetary award that she and a few other of her former co-stars received after suing CBS, the station that owned the show. They allegedly had not been paid for revenues for the merchandise sold and CBS settled out of court. They paid the sum of $65,000 each to Don Most, Anson Williams, and Marion Ross, along with Erin Moran.
The group of co-stars had originally filed a breach of contract suit looking for $10 million, but the $65,000 each also came along with a promise from CBS to continue to honor the terms of the contract. About five years ago, Erin Moran made the headlines after she and her husband, Steve Fleischmann, along with her mother-in-law, were kicked out of a rented trailer they were living in at the time.
Pictures of Moran were taken at the time after someone spotted her outside of a Holiday Inn and she looked “worse for wear,” reports the Daily Mail.
According to News 4 Jax, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department reports that they responded to a 911 call reporting there was an unresponsive female, but upon arrival it was determined that the woman was deceased. She was identified as “Erin Marie Moran-Fleischmann” at that time. The cause of Moran’s death has not been revealed by authorities or her family. An autopsy is “pending,” according to the Sheriff’s Department.
[Featured Image by Matt Sayles/AP Images]