CORYDON, Ind. (CBSLA.com/ AP) — Authorities say former “Happy Days” star Erin Moran likely died from cancer at her southern Indiana home.
A statement released Monday by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department says an autopsy revealed the 56-year-old actress had stage-four cancer, but doesn’t specify what type.
The department says Moran died Saturday in the rural community of New Salisbury, about 20 miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky. Officials say standard toxicology test results are pending but that no illegal narcotics were found at the home.
A Burbank native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. In 1974, she was cast in “Happy Days” as Joanie Cunningham, the kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard.
But in recent days, Moran had reportedly fallen on hard times and was kicked out of an Indiana trailer part for “hard partying”.
Paul Petersen of child actor advocacy group A Minor Consideration said in a statement posted Sunday that several of the group’s members reached out to Moran “in the last week of her life”.
“Erin had friends and she knew it. Abandonment was not the issue. The perversity of human frailty is at the root of this loss, not failure,” said Petersen. “We did our best with the resources available to us, but it was a very dark room. Some don’t find the light switch in time.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)