RIP Erin Moran: 5 Things You May Not Know About The Late ‘Happy Days’ Actress

Most people remember Erin Moran as the adorable Joanie Cunningham on the classic TV show “Happy Days.” Sadly, Moran died on April 22 at the age of 56. A statement released today by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana Coroner’s office revealed a likely cause of death: complications from stage 4 cancer.

Moran’s life consisted of many ups and downs. Her story goes beyond playing a single role on one of TV’s most popular sitcoms of all time.

Here are five facts about Erin Moran you may not know.

1. Moran Started Her Career Alongside Debbie Reynolds

Moran started her acting career at an early age. In 1968, she made her film debut in “How Sweet It Is!” starring Debbie Reynolds and James Garner. That appearance launched her acting career. Moran had guest star runs on “Dakarti,” “My Three Sons,” “Family Affair” and “Gunsmoke.”

Her “Gunsmoke” co-star, Willie Aames (who also appeared on TV with Moran’s “Happy Days” co-star Scott Baio in later years), posted a lovely tribute to the actress after her untimely death.

2. She Was Not A ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ Fan

While most actors would love to have their own show, Moran wasn’t so happy to move to the “Happy Days” spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi.” She confessed her lack of enthusiasm about the move during a 2009 Xfinity interview:

I don’t have any favorite episodes from Joanie Loves Chachi. I liked working with the people. But I didn’t even want to do it. I was talked into it. I wanted to stay on Happy Days. They were running them at the same time.

She continued by saying she felt forced into the new show, but she’d share more of that in an upcoming memoir. The book was tentatively titled “Happy Days, Depressing Nights.” Unfortunately, she didn’t finish it before her death.

3. A Reportedly Rough Post-TV Life

Following “Happy Days,” Moran appeared on episodes of “The Love Boat” and a number of other series. However, she never found the career most actresses look for in the long term. Sadly, she stayed in the public eye through numerous tabloid stories focusing on reported money problems, and possible drug and alcohol addiction. During her Xfinity interview, she said her first husband, Rocky Ferguson, abused her. She said she planned to address the incidents in her book. After her divorce, she married Steven Fleischmann, to whom she stayed married until her death.

4. She Loved Her TV Family

Sometimes, a group of actors just click. That was the case on the “Happy Days” set, according to Moran. The lines between fiction and family seemed to blur.

“What happened with all of us was like we were this family,” she said during the Xfinity interview. “It was so surreal with all the cast members. There was another moment where we forgot we were doing scenes. We forgot we were acting. They were my family, get it?”

Her TV family loved her, too. Social media reactions to her death from former co-stars spread quickly around the internet.

Ron Howard, who played her older brother, Richie Cunningham, on “Happy Days”:

Henry Winkler, also known as “The Fonz” from the show:

Don Most, who played funny guy Ralph Malph:

Former TV husband Scott Baio added his thoughts, as well:

5. Moran, Co-Stars Sued CBS

In 2012, Moran and some other “Happy Days” co-stars—Anson Williams, Don Most, Marion Ross and the widow of Tom Bosley—filed a $10 million lawsuit against CBS and Paramount. They group claimed “they never received merchandise royalties they were owed under their contracts.” In the end, both parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

RELATED: Mary Tyler Moore Once Punched A Man For Hurting A Dog (And 6 Other Things You Might Not Know About The Iconic Actress)

Erin Moran photo
Getty Images | Frazer Harrison


James Corden Channels Disney Magic In ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Crosswalk Video

Last week, “Late Late Show” host James Corden’s “Beauty and the Beast” struck viral video gold. The performance was the latest installment in his popular Crosswalk Theater Company sketch series. Stars from Disney’s blockbuster live-action version of the movie, including Josh Gad, Luke Evans and Dan Stevens, helped Corden bring a live performance to an unlikely location: a Los Angeles crosswalk.

Crosswalk The Musical
The Late Late Show With James Corden/YouTube

In just under 10 minutes, Corden and his merry players performed a condensed version of “Beauty and the Beast,” with Corden playing the lovely Belle. At each red light, the enthusiastic theater company ran out into the crosswalk to perform fully choreographed numbers such as “Belle,” “Gaston,” “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

From LeFou To Lumiere

Gad, who played Gaston’s sidekick LeFou in the movie, had the chance to also play Lumiere in this abridged version of the story. Gad joked to the camera about his new role. “Who wants to do it in front of millions of people in a film when you can do it in front of a half dozen Lyft and Uber drivers here?”

Most drivers waiting at the red light of the intersection weren’t sure what to make of the show. Watching their reactions is half the fun of the video.

You have to see the performance to believe it. Even if you’re not a Disney fan, you’ll likely get a good laugh from this one.

James Corden Showcases His Love For Theater

It’s no big secret “Late Late Show” host James Corden loves musical theater. After all, he hosted the Tony Awards in 2016. He even produced a Broadway Carpool Karaoke sketch with some of today’s hottest theater stars, including Lin Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton.”

Also, “Beauty and the Beast” is just Corden’s latest Crosswalk Theater Company production. In the past, he has produced versions of “Grease,” “The Lion King” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”