Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days," dies at 56 – New York Daily News

“Happy Days” actress Erin Moran, who found fame as Joanie Cunningham in the hit sitcom, has died at age 56.

First responders in Indiana found a woman identified as Erin Marie Moran Fleischmann dead around 4 p.m. Saturday after a 911 call said she was unresponsive, according to a Harrison County Sheriff’s Office statement.

It was not immediately clear how Moran died and an autopsy is pending, police said.


Actress Erin Moran has reportedly died at age 56.

(Wally Fong/AP)

Moran joined the “Happy Days” cast at 13 as the kid sister of Ron Howard’s Richie Cunningham. The popular show, set in the 1950s, wrapped in 1984 after an acclaimed 10-year run.

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She revived her role in the short lived spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi” with actor Scott Baio from 1982 to 1984.

Her TV brother, Howard, remembered his young co-star in a Saturday night 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.”

Fellow castmember Henry Winkler — the leather-clad greaser “Fonzie” — mourned Moran’s death in a touching tweet as news of her death broke.

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The “Happy Days” actress, seen with husband Steven Fleischmann in 2007, died in Indiana.

(Enos Solomon/FilmMagic)

“Now you will finally have the peace you wanted to badly here on earth,” Winkler wrote. “Rest In It serenely now.. too soon.”

Baio, who portrayed Joanie’s future husband in the series, did not immediately speak out about Moran’s death. The 56-year-old actor claimed that he lost his virginity to Moran, in his 2007 reality TV series “Scott Baio is 45 … and Single.”

Moran worked sporadically after her “Happy Days” heyday. In 1986, she had a guest role on “Murder, She Wrote,” and then played herself in the 2003 comedy “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.”

The former TV star faced a downward spiral in 2012 — the same year she won $65,000 in a settlement with CBS over merchandising payments from “Happy Days.”

She sued the network alongside actors Anson Williams, Don Most and Marion Ross, claiming they lost out on millions in royalties after their photos were used on DVDs.

Despite the payout, Moran wound up broke and homeless after being evicted from an Indiana trailer park where she lived with her husband, Steven Fleischmann, and his mother. Their prior home in California faced foreclosure.

Moran also starred in the 1982 "Happy Days" spinoff "Joanie Loves Chachi."

Moran also starred in the 1982 “Happy Days” spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi.”

(ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

The National Enquirer previously reported that Moran’s heavy drinking contributed to the eviction.

Earlier this year, former castmate Ted McGinley rallied for another chance to play basketball coach Roger Phillips on Netflix.

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