Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in 'Happy Days,' Dies at 56 - NBC New York
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in 'Happy Days,' Dies at 56

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Erin Moran, who played Joanie Cunningham on the shows "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at the age of 56. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Saturday, April 22, 2017. (Published Sunday, April 23, 2017)

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

    A statement from the sheriff's department in Harrison County, Indiana, said the dispatcher "received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Upon arrival of first responders, it was determined that Erin Moran Fleischmann was deceased. An autopsy is pending."

    The dispatcher confirmed to The Associated Press that the woman was the actress, who had been married to Steven Fleischmann.

    In Memoriam: William ChristopherIn Memoriam: William Christopher

    A Burbank, California native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had nearly a decade's worth of experience when she was cast in 1974 in "Happy Days" as Joanie Cunningham, the kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard.

    Debuting at a time of nostalgia for the seemingly innocent 1950s, the sitcom was set in Milwaukee and soon became a hit. Howard and Henry Winkler, who played tough guy Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli, were the show's biggest stars, but Moran also became popular. In 1982, she was paired off with fellow "Happy Days" performer Scott Baio in the short-lived "Joanie Loves Chachi."

    Her more recent credits included "The Love Boat" and "Murder, She Wrote," but she never approached the success of "Happy Days" and was more often in the news for her numerous personal struggles.

    Moran's former co-stars reacted to the news online.