“Happy Days” actress Erin Moran, who found fame as Joanie Cunningham in the hit ABC sitcom, has died at age 56.
First responders in Indiana found a woman identified as Erin Marie Moran Fleischmann dead around 4 p.m. Saturday after a 911 call said she was unresponsive, according to a Harrison County Sheriff’s Office statement.
It was not immediately clear how Moran died, an autopsy is pending, police said.
The popular show set in the 1950s wrapped up after an acclaimed 10-year run in 1984.
Moran was just 14 in the 1970s when she was cast as Ron Howard’s younger sister, Joanie Cunningham, on Happy Days, and later continued with the character on the spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi, which lasted for just two seasons between 1982 and 1983.
In 1986, Moran had a guest role on “Murder, She Wrote.”
One of her last film credits included a cameo in the 2011 flick “Not Another B Movie.”
Fellow castmember Henry Winkler — the leather-clad greaser “Fonzie” — mourned Moran’s death in a touching tweet as news of her death broke.
“Now you will finally have the peace you wanted to badly here on earth,” Winkler wrote. “Rest In It serenely now.. too soon.”
OH Erin… now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth …Rest In It serenely now.. too soon
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) April 23, 2017
Her TV brother, Howard, also paid tribute to his co-star.
“Such sad sad news,” Howard said. “RIP Erin. I’ll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens.”
The former TV starlet returned to the spotlight for only a scattering of roles before facing a downward spiral in 2012 — the same year she won $65,000 in a settlement with CBS over merchandising payments from “Happy Days.”
Such sad sad news. RIP Erin. I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens. https://t.co/8HmdL0JKlf
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) April 23, 2017
She sued the network alongside actors Anson Williams, Don Most and Marion Ross, claiming they lost out on millions after their photos were used on DVDs.
Despite the payout, Moran wound up broke and homeless after being evicted from an Indiana trailer park where she lived with her husband, Steven Fleischmann, and his mother. Their prior home in California faced foreclosure.
The National Enquirer previously reported that Moran’s heavy drinking contributed to the eviction.