Ron Howard Mourns Erin Moran: 'It's Been a Rough Time'

Erin Moran, right, most likely died from cancer, Harrison County Sheriff's Office says.

During an initial investigation, the Harrison County Sheriff's Office stated that a "joint investigation into Mrs. Moran's death was conducted", and "a subsequent autopsy revealed that Mrs. Moran likely succumbed to complications of Stage 4 cancer." .

The sheriff's office in Harrison County, in southern in where Moran had been living, said Monday that a "joint investigation into Mrs. Moran's death was conducted".

The department says Moran died Saturday in the rural community of New Salisbury, about 20 miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky.

While toxicology tests were performed as a matter of course, the authorities noted, "no illegal narcotics were found at the residence". She had fallen on hard times in recent years, United States media report.

A number of Moran's Happy Days co-stars have expressed their sadness at Moran's death, including actress Marion Ross, who played her mother on the beloved show.

The later years in the star's life were reportedly plagued by hardship with reports in 2012 that Erin was homeless and living in hotels after being kicked out of her mother-in-law's mobile home.

Joanie was younger sister to Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard. "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 her final years, Moran had battled financial problems and depression.

Moran also starred in the show's spin-off series Joanie Loves Chachi, which began in 1982.

Moran previously said that she had been working on a memoir, called "Happy Days, Depressing Nights".

In 2008, she appeared on VH1's reality show "Celebrity Fit Club".

She had only a handful of acting jobs in the last 25 years (her most recent credit was 2010's Not Another B Movie), according to her IMDb page.

  • Salvatore Jensen