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


Rapper Eminem’s Daughter Hailie Is All Grown Up And Instagram-Famous

Do you remember the rapper Eminem, also known as Marshall Mathers? His famous struggle with substance abuse played out over a series of albums, the last of which was released in 2013.

Aside from his very public battle with drugs and alcohol, Eminem’s music often dealt with his daughter, Hailie, most famously in his 2004 hit “Mockingbird.” Well, now she’s all grown up. And we feel old.

Hailie Scott is now a student at Michigan State University—unsurprising, since her father famously grew up in and around Detroit. Recently, she shared several snapshots of her life in college, which looks refreshingly normal… despite the fact that her dad is a famous rapper and that she has nearly half a million people following her every move.

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Hailie is the daughter to Eminem’s ex, Kim Mathers. The pair married and divorced twice before finally splitting up for good in 2006.

This isn’t the first time Hailie has made headlines. She was crowned homecoming queen at her high school in Clinton Township, Michigan, in 2013. Her dad came to watch (albeit from a classroom, so as not to cause a scene), and she walked onto the football field with her mother, Kim.

It will be interesting to see if Hailie shares the same interest in the English language as her father.

“I found that no matter how bad I was at school, like, and no matter how low my grades might have been at some times, I always was good at English,” Eminem said in an interview. “I just felt like I wanna be able to have all of these words at my disposal, in my vocabulary at all times whenever I need to pull ’em out. You know, somewhere, they’ll be stored, like, locked away.”

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Hailie herself graduated from high school with honors. During her time there, she was a member of the National Honor Society, the Art Club, the Key Club and the Student Council. She also played volleyball. And an academic rock star, she received the school’s Academic Excellence Award and the Department of Psychology Award.

It’s great to see Hailie enjoying her college years. Whatever she’s studying, we’re sure she’s kicking butt.

[h/t People]