'Happy Days' star Erin Moran dies at 56

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, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi", has died at age 56.

Moran's big brother on the show, Ron Howard, also expressed his grief over her passing, writing, "Such sad sad news". Upon arrival of first responders, it was determined that Erin Moran Fleischmann was deceased.

An autopsy is pending and there is no indication of cause of death, the sheriff's office said.

Tributes have begun to pour in for the actress including a tweet from her Happy Days co-star Henry Winkler.

IN authorities received a call Saturday afternoon about an "unresponsive female".

But the happy days were marked by controversy in later years. While other cast members continued to act or direct, acting work dried up for Moran.

Debuting at a time of nostalgia for the seemingly innocent 1950s, the sitcom was set in Milwaukee and became a long-running hit.

She most recently appeared on VH1's reality show Celebrity Fit Club in 2008 and low-budget film Not Another B Movie 2010.

'Erin was going out to bars and coming home at all hours of the night, sometimes with her rowdy bar friends, and Steve's mom just couldn't take it anymore, ' a source said.

Moran had endured numerous struggles in recent years, according to USA media reports.

"OH Erin. now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth", Winkler wrote. She was a wonderful, sweet, caring, talented woman.

She made regular appearances on the series "Daktari" in the late '60s and "The Love Boat" in the '80s. "I can't really comprehend this right now".

  • Salvatore Jensen