Erin Moran, popular ‘Happy Days’ star, dead at 56

"Happy Days" star Erin Moran died Saturday in Indiana at the age of 56. Her life had apparently been in a downward spiral for many years.

Erin Moran in a 2008 public appearance. (Image via entry on Erin Moran, CC 3.0 license)

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2017 — Another all-too-early entertainment world death is in the news today. This time, the victim was Erin Moran, 56, who died in Indiana Saturday. She had initially rocketed to TV fame as a young actress portraying Joanie Cunningham, Richie Cunningham’s (Ron Howard’s) sister, in the popular sitcom “Happy Days” (1977-1984).

Moran later got a follow-on shot in the short-lived “Joanie Loves Chachi” (1982-1983), co-starring with one-time teen idol Scott Baio.

But after that series was canceled, she acted only sporadically, reportedly succumbing to bouts of depression and substance abuse. According to Deadline,

“Moran’s body was found by Indiana police yesterday afternoon. She’d previously been living in a trailer park, and tabloid reports for years have documented her battles with substance abuse and financial problems.”

Moran suffered from mounting physical and financial problems in the years after her second TV series ended.

“Moran confirmed news reports that her California home was foreclosed on in 2010, following media claims that she was also served eviction papers and moved into her mother-in-law’s trailer home in Indiana. In 2017, Variety magazine said she ‘had fallen on hard times in recent years. She was reportedly kicked out of her trailer park home in Indiana because of her hard-partying ways.'”

More below, via Lifezette.

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