When you hear the title, Happy Days, Erin Moran was probably one of the cast members who came to mind, but her adult life seemed anything but happy. Erin Moran was found dead on Saturday afternoon by authorities. Her life was cut short at only 56. Through the years articles from the Inquisitr have documented the headline news of Erin Moran’s life, which seem to indicate a life spiraling in a downward direction.
Erin, who played the role of Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days, was seen as the little sister of Richie Cunningham on the iconic show. However, she wasn’t just Richie’s younger sibling, she also the nation’s little sister back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Joanie Loves Chachi star’s cause of death wasn’t immediately determined, and authorities report an autopsy is pending. How did Erin Moran’s life end in a trailer park in a rural area of Indiana?
Radar Online reports that Erin Moran, 56, had spent her last months alive bouncing from one “seedy motel” to another and in between she would stay with friends. She was working on her memoir, a tell-all book about the journey that she describes in the title as “depressing.” Happy Days, Depressing Nights is the title of her unfinished memoir.
She attempted a comeback, but that was a struggle for her. She even appeared on the Today Show back in 2008 in an attempt to get back into the limelight. That comeback never materialized. Friends said that despite Erin not staying in one place for very long, she stayed holed up writing her memoir, one that will go unfinished by the Happy Days star herself. Depending on how much of the book she had completed, maybe someone could pick up where she left off.
Erin was married to Steve Fleischmann, who is seven years younger than her. The Heavy reports that back in 2013 the couple had been married almost 20 years, so in 2017 they would have been married almost 25 years at the time of her death.“A combination of drinking and bizarre behavior” was what eventually brought her to the trailer park in Indiana,” cites The Heavy.
The overwhelming online searches today for news on Erin Moran’s cause of death seem to indicate that while it’s been decades since Happy Days went off the air, fans of Erin Moran remember her as if it were yesterday. Back in 2012, an article from the Inquisitr reported that Erin was deemed “homeless and broke.” She had no home or money, despite receiving a settlement at the time. Erin was part of a group of stars from Happy Days who sued CBS for royalties, which was part of their original contract. They each received $65,000 from that settlement and they were also promised a cut of future royalties.
After Erin and her husband had been rendered homeless back in 2012, they moved in with Flieschmann’s mother in an Indiana trailer park, which was reported by the Daily Mail at the time. The article describes Erin as looking “worse for wear” when spotted outside an Indiana Holiday Inn back in 2012.
A quote from Radar Online embedded in the Inquisitr article suggested that “Every time she [Erin] ventures out, whether it’s to a bar to grab a drink or even to the supermarket for some groceries, Erin seems to land in hot water.” Another article from Inquisitr, which was also published in 2012, reported how Erin Moran was in a “drunken brawl” with her mother-in-law.”
Moran’s mother-in-law had enough of the couple’s partying, and in a few weeks, she kicked them to the curb. With nowhere to go, the duo attempted to sneak back into the trailer home, but they were caught in the act by Steven’s mother. She was livid, and she threatened to call police if they didn’t leave. Witnesses reported that Erin and her mother-in-law were seen screaming at each other in the middle of the street.
It seems like 2012 was a year that Erin hit rock bottom. Another Inquisitr article describes how Erin and her husband “knocked around” from hotel to hotel after being kicked out of Steve’s mother’s home. She reportedly blew through that $65,000 settlement in no time. Inquisitr also reported that same year that Erin was forced to take a job at a local Walmart store while living in that trailer home with her husband and mother-in-law. Can you imagine moving to the front of the cashier’s line only to see one of the most iconic TV stars ready to tally-up your merchandise?
Although you might not have recognized Erin at that time, as reports suggest the Happy Days star’s looks had faded through the years of hard partying. Erin was found dead by the authorities who were answering a 911 call reporting an “unresponsive female,” reports The Heavy. This occurred on Saturday afternoon at about 4 p.m. local time. While no cause of death for the Happy Days star has been officially released, a neighbor in the trailer park where she was living and found dead said she died of a “suspected heroin overdose, according to the Daily Mail.
[Featured Image by Wally Fong/AP Images]