Erin Moran, who played Joanie on hit TV show “Happy Days,” has died at 56.
Officials got a call on Saturday afternoon about “an unresponsive female,” the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department said.
“Upon the arrival, it was determined that the female was Erin Marie Moran-Fleischmann. First responders determined that she was deceased and an autopsy is pending,” the department said.
No additional details of her death are available at this time.
Moran grew up right before the public’s eye during her time on “Happy Days.” Her romance in the latter seasons with aspiring musician Chachi Arcola, played by Scott Baio, became a major story line.
The show aired from 1974 to 1984 and is remembered for its catchy theme song and memorable characters.
She then starred in a short-lived spinoff, “Joanie Loves Chachi,” alongside her “Happy Days” co-star Scott Baio. The show was cancelled after only 17 episodes and then Moran returned to “Happy Days” for its final season.
The former child star never held another starring role after “Happy Days.” She scored minor roles in other TV shows, including “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Diagnosis Murder.”
Moran was born in Burbank, California, and was raised in nearby North Hollywood. She got into acting with her mother’s support, who signed her to an agency when she was only 5 years old.
In the mid-’80s, Moran left Los Angeles behind for a more secluded life in the California mountains. After a six-year marriage to Rocky Ferguson that ended in 1993, she tied the knot with Steven Fleischmann. They were married for over 20 years, though there are no reports that they ever had children together.
She made headlines in recent years after several reports claimed she was living in her mother-in-law’s trailer.
“Erin and her husband did in fact move in with her ailing mother-in-law over a year ago,” Moran’s publicist said. “They are helping take care of her, as any loving family would do.”
The revelation came after TMZ obtained documents showing that Moran’s home had been foreclosed on in 2010 and she was served eviction papers later that year after refusing to leave.
Several of her co-stars have paid their respects on social media following her death:
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
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
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