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Former sitcom and television actress Erin Moran has passed away. Moran was found by authorities in Indiana on Saturday morning after receiving a 911 call for an "unresponsive female." First responders arrived on the scene and found the woman deceased, identifying the body as Erin Marie Moran-Fleischmann. An autopsy is pending and the cause of death is not yet known at this time. She was 56.
Erin Moran is best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days. The beloved sitcom aired for 10 seasons from 1974 to 1984. Set in 1950's Milwaukee, the show was a smash hit, giving birth to three spin-off television series and a catchy theme song. Joanie Cunningham was the younger sister of all-American teen Richie, played by Ron Howard, now a famous director. Moran acquired the role at the age of 12 and audiences watched her grow up onscreen. Over the course of the show, she went from a spunky and mischievous teenager to a main character on the series.
In later seasons, Joanie became the love interest of Chachi Arcola, an aspiring musician played by Scott Baio. The two would receive their own spin-off in the early eighties called Joanie Loves Chachi, which found the two characters setting off on their own to follow their dreams in Chicago. Not as successful as Happy Days, the spin-off was critically panned and only lasted 17 episodes. Moran and Baio would later return for the final season of Happy Days where the two of them were finally married.
Several of Moran's former Happy Days co-stars have expressed their sorrows over her passing on social media. Henry Winkler, famous for playing the iconic Fonzie on the show, hoped that Moran would "find the peace" she wanted "so badly here on Earth".
Moran first became an actor at the age of five. As noted by CNN, her first credited acting role was in a television commercial for First Federal Bank. Before starring on Happy Days, she made several appearances in the late sixties on the series Daktari. She would go on to make more guest appearances on shows like The Love Boat, Gunsmoke, The Waltons, and My Three Sons. Unfortunately, Joanie Cunningham would be her last starring role and her acting career dried up in the following years. She's only had 5 credited roles since 1998, with the last one in 2010 in the film Not Another B Movie.
A complete list of survivors in not immediately available.