Actress Erin Moran of Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, who died April 22 this year, most likely passed away from cancer.


An autopsy revealed that she “likely succumbed to complications of Stage 4 cancer.” The final toxicology report has not yet been filed, but no illegal narcotics were discovered at the actress’ residence. Moran, aged 56, was found dead in her home by emergency responders in Indiana after a 911 call was placed.

According to archives of the Indianapolis Star, Moran was last spotted in September 2012, living at a Holiday Inn Express in Corydon, Indiana. Reports say she first moved to Indiana with her husband Steve Fleischmann in 2011 to care for his sick mother. They allegedly lived in a trailer park with the two.

Moran was known for her beloved character Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days and subsequently on Joanie Loves Chachi. Joanie was younger sister to Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard. “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,” Howard wrote on Twitter in remembrance. Scott Baio, who played Chachi Arcola, said, “May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul. I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin… My sincere condolences.”

While her co-stars went on to find more acting roles or directing jobs, Hollywood seemed to leave behind Moran. “There is so much reality [television],” she said. “Then the other shows they do have going on, they just kind of want to stay in [one] type of casting area… Slowly but surely it’s coming around, and…bringing us back, people that have been in the business all our lives and doing the shows we did.”

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