Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days", dies at 56

The program, which ran from 1974-1984, was based in Milwaukee. Later in her life, she moved to in with her second husband, Steve Fleischmann.

She played Joanie Cunningham, the little sister of Ron Howard's Richie Cunningham, on the television situation comedy.

Moran played the same character in the early 1980s in "Joanie Loves Chachi", a short-lived spinoff with her "Happy Days" co-star Scott Baio continuing his role as Chachi Arcola.

Moran's former Happy Days cast members took to social media tonight to mourn her, choosing to remember her for her talents and her kindness, and not the obvious pain that blotted out so much of the latter part of her career.

Viewers watched her mature on the show, which Moran said in a 2008 interview with the "Today" show wasn't the easiest passage to go through.

Emergency services rushed to the actress" home in IN at 4pm on Saturday after a call was made about an "unresponsive female'.

Moran the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms

"So incredibly sad to hear about Erin". As I write this I can't really comprehend this right now. "A very painful loss", said Most. It gives me some comfort to know that she's with Tom, Al, Pat and Garry.

"Erin was a huge help at first, but then Steve's mom got fed up with Erin's nonstop partying and told her to hit the road", a source told RadarOnline.

According to IMDb, Moran was born October 18, 1960, in Burbank, California, and her first professional acting gig was in a TV commercial.

"She brought joy to millions", said Moran's friend and fellow child star, Alison Arngrim.

Moran had fallen on hard times in recent years. USA media said she and her husband of over 20 years, Steven Fleischmann, had been made to leave their trailer park home. His mom kicked them out. She was reportedly homeless at times. That same year she joined the cast of the third - and final - season of CBS adventure drama "Daktari".

The actress, however, apparently wasn't so positive when it came to Joanie Loves Chachi, which co-starred Baio.

  • Leroy Wright