Erin Moran, who many of you will remember for playing the role of Joanie Cunningham in Happy Days has passed away at the age of 56. Her body was discovered by the authorities who were responding to an emergency call about and unresponsive female.

It has since been alleged that Moran passed away of a suspected heroin overdose, however that has yet to be confirmed. News of her death has of course led to many of her co-stars from her acting days payin tribute to her. Those include both Ron Howard and Henry Winkler

Moran was a fresh faced 14 years old when she was chosen to play the role of Joanie in Happy Days, the 1970’s TV sensation, and the role she played was of the feisty teenage sister of Richie Cunningham in the show, and her acting abilities playing that role saw her secure legions of fans.

Both Willer and Howard sent out Tweets, Winkler´s tweet read ‘OH Erin, now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth, Rest In It serenely now, too soon.’  Whilst Howard tweeted ‘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.’

However, it was not Happy Days that launched her acting career for she had many acting roles prior to landing the role of Joanie, however it is that character many people fondly remember her for, and she was in Happy Days for almost a decade from the early 1970´s through to the 1980´s.

However, in later life she did suffer from a range of different problems, in fact she was reported to have been kicked out of the trailer she was living in with her husband Steve Fleischmann in 2012 and many pictures surfaced of her looking worse for wear and dishevelled throughout the last few years.

It was after the spinoff TV show Joanie Loves Chachi was cancelled after one series that her downward spirally appeared to have started and she found it hard to get roles from that day onward, however she did make the occasional guest appearance on one or two shows and had a small role in the 2010 comedy film Not Another B Movie.

She was also said to have started drinking heavily and at one stage in her later life was living in different motels, often “bouncing” around from motel to motel with no one place to call home.

It is of course always sad to see one of the people we remember so fondly from our childhood pass away, however many people are speculating her death was caused by a drugs overdose which somehow does sour our memories and fondness of her.

One thing we do know is that she is now completely at peace with her demons and no one can take away from the fact that for over a decade she was one of the best loved actresses who starred on one of the biggest television shows of that decade.

Published by Sara O'Connell

A passionate photographer from Arizona, Sara enjoys art and culture.