LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Erin Moran, the actress who played spunky Joanie Cunningham on ABC’s long-running sitcom “Happy Days,” has died.
Moran died at 56.
An autopsy is pending.
Officials with the Harrison County dispatch in Indiana were called to her residence around 4:10 p.m. Saturday and they said they discovered an “unresponsive” female.
The woman was later identified as Erin Marie Moran.
She was declared dead at the scene, officials said.
Erin Moran didn’t find much success following the 70s era sitcom. A spin off, “Joanie Loves Chachi” aired for just one season in 1982.
In the ABC sitcom “Happy Days,” a spinoff of “Love, American Style,” Moran played the young, impressionable and often moon-eyed younger sister of star Ron Howard.
“Happy Days” ran on ABC from 1974-1984. In addition to “Joanie Loves Chachi” other spinoffs included “Laverne and Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy.”
In an early story, Moran’s character developed a crush on Potsie, a nerdy friend of her brother’s. She called Potsie “Dren” or nerd backwards.
Later, a growing up eager teen Joanie fell for Fonzie’s cousin Chachi, played by Scott Baio, which resulted in the short-lived spinoff.
TMZ said the former sitcom star had fallen on hard times. Out of money, she and her husband were reportedly kicked out of a trailer park in Indiana for “hard partying.”
Moran’s other credits include “Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club” a decade ago.