Erin Moran is dead at 56 and fans of the Happy Days star are searching online for her cause of death. How did Erin Moran die at such a young age? A neighbor who lived in the same trailer park as Moran reported her “suspected” cause of death to one of the bigger media outlets, but how the iconic Happy Days star died has not been officially released by authorities or her family. So the cause of Erin Moran’s death is going through the rumor stage, which often happens when a celebrity dies and while official word of the death is pending.
The Daily Mail is reporting that although a cause of death for Moran has not been “officially released,” their source, who is a neighbor of Moran, reports that she died of a “suspected heroin overdose.” An autopsy is still “pending” today, the day after Moran was found unresponsive. The Heavy noted that while the “British publication” is reporting a “possible heroin overdose” as the cause of Moran’s death, they have not released the name of their source. Officials have not released any information on what caused Erin Moran’s death as of early Sunday morning.
Authorities answered a 911 call reporting an “unresponsive female” on Saturday afternoon at about 4 p.m. The call beckoned the EMTs to a trailer park in New Salisbury, Indiana, where Moran lived with her husband, Steve Fleischmann.
According to an article from Heavy, New Salisbury is an “unincorporated area of southern Indiana with fewer than 1,000 people.” Southern Indiana is one of the many areas in the nation that is fighting a rising epidemic of heroin and opioid overdoses, according to the News Tribune.
In her adult life Moran fell on hard times. Her issues with alcohol, along with other problems, such as being evicted from her home, were “much publicized” throughout her adult years, according to Heavy.
According to the Daily Mail, her “downward spiral” became evident in September of 2012″ after she was kicked out of a trailer that she shared with her husband. Erin Moran brought her role on Happy Days to life as the fun-loving “Joanie” for almost 10 years from the mid 1970’s through to the early 1980’s. She was just 14 when she first signed on to play Joanie on Happy Days. Fans of the young Moran actually got to see her grow up from an awkward freckle-faced kid to a beautiful young woman, by the time Happy Days went off the air.
After almost a decade of playing the role of Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days, Erin Moran moved on to a spin-off series where she continued to play the same role as Joanie Cunningham in Joanie Loves Chachi. That show ended after just about a year on air.
Moran was the epitome of a child star, as she started her acting career at 10-years-old with a few small TV roles. At 14 she rocketed to fame as Joanie Cunningham in the iconic Happy Days show.
Moran’s Happy Days family of co-stars started to release their heartfelt good-byes via social media after her death was announced, as reported by CNN News. Her co-star Ron Howard, who played Richie Cunningham, Joanie’s older brother from Happy Days, posted the following tweet.
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
Henry Winkler, who played Arthur ‘Fonzie’ Fonzarelli, also took to Twitter to say his sad good-bye to Moran. She was like a little sister to all the Happy Days cast back in the days when the show was a top destination for TV viewing.
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
Erin had a very close friend who was also a child star, Erin Murphy. She played the role of Tabitha on the 1960’s series Bewitched. She tweeted that she was “So sad to share that my friend Erin Moran has passed away. Rest In Peace, sweet girl.” Another co-star from Happy Days, Don Most, tweeted his good-bye to Moran.
So incredibly sad to hear about Erin. A wonderful, sweet, caring, talented woman.I can't really comprehend this right now.Very painful loss— Don Most (@most_don) April 23, 2017
While Erin’s height of stardom came from the sitcom Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, she did have small roles or guest appearances on TV shows before and after breaking out as a household name in Happy Days. Erin had roles on the series, The Love Boat, The Waltons, My Three Sons, Gunsmoke and Daktari.
[Featured Image by E.J. Flynn/AP Images]