In what had turned out to be a colorful, yet oftentimes troubled life, former Happy Days child star Erin Moran was married twice. And with the 56-year-old actress having passed away Saturday due to a suspected heroin overdose, details on Erin Moran’s relationship with her husband Steven Fleischmann had cropped up on multiple reports. But a new report has uncovered some details on her first marriage to a man named Rocky Ferguson, which lasted from 1987 to 1993.
On Saturday afternoon, TMZ broke the tragic news that Moran, who had starred as Joanie Cunningham on the 1970s sitcom Happy Days and its spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi, was found dead by Harrison County (Indiana) first responders. No cause of death was given at the time of the original report, but sources familiar with the situation told the Daily Mail that she may have died of a heroin overdose. Following the cancellation of Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, Moran had well-documented issues with “drinking and bizarre behavior,” and in 2012, had been reported to have been kicked out of a mobile home she and second husband Steven Fleischmann were living in.
Yesterday, the Inquisitr reported on Moran’s “uneasy relationship” with Fleischmann, whom she was married to from 1993 up to her death. But newer reports suggest that her relationship with her first husband may have been even more tense.
Fond farewell to Erin Moran (56) known to most as Joanie Cunningham in 'Happy Days'. A big part of my childhood and gone far too soon. RIP pic.twitter.com/dG1iRZXbSk— Mothra P.I. (@Hardywolf359) April 23, 2017
A report from People focused on Erin Moran’s first husband Rocky Ferguson and what turned out to be a troubled marriage for the actress. The publication cited a 2007 interview with Moran, where she described how Ferguson supposedly wanted her to be as inaccessible as possible to fans, to the point of denying her identity should someone recognize her from her television and movie appearances.
“He wanted me to lie in who I was and if anyone recognized me to say no, I wasn’t. And that’s the pressure he put on me.”
When People asked Erin Moran if her first husband acted that way so he could be the center of attention, she declined to go into detail, but suggested that that may have been the case.
“I really don’t want to delve into his personality or why he did things. I don’t even want to go there because it’s pointless.”
Very little information is available on Erin Moran’s first husband, except for his name – Rocky Ferguson – and a few photos showing the couple in happier times. But People‘s archives do offer some details on Ferguson and what he was doing in 1992, when the publication wrote a retrospective on the cast of Happy Days and caught up with Moran and co-stars such as Ron Howard (Richie Cunningham) and Henry Winkler (Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli).
In that interview, Erin, then 31-years-old, debunked rumors of drug use and “finding God,” saying that she has “always had God” in her life. She also described Rocky Ferguson as an “eclectic” singer for whom she had produced a demo tape for.
While Moran’s first marriage didn’t last long, her second one had weathered some tough times, and lasted until her death on Saturday. Reports mainly suggest that Erin Moran and husband Steven Fleischmann had mostly tried to keep a low profile after they had moved to Indiana in 2011. And while there were unsubstantiated rumors swirling in 2013 that the couple was about to call it quits after two decades of marriage, these weren’t corroborated, as Erin and Steven remained together for the next four years, despite frequent rumors of Moran’s unusual and allegedly reckless behavior.
Despite the allegation that Erin Moran’s first husband wasn’t comfortable with her fame, she nonetheless said in a 2007 interview with Pop Culture Addict that she would like to be remembered both as herself, as well as the character she had played on Happy Days.
“Just both. Erin and Joanie. When somebody accidentally calls me Joanie and they apologize I say, ‘Don’t apologize. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.'”
[Featured Image by David Livingston/Getty Images]