Erin Moran, Joanie on 'Happy Days,' Dies at 56

The actress was best known for her role as Ron Howard's little sister on the 1970s sitcom.

Erin Moran, best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham on the sitcoms Happy Days and its spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi, has died. She was 56.

Moran was found Saturday afternoon by Harrison County, Ind., dispatch officers responding to an "unresponsive female" report. Upon arriving at the scene, officers identified Moran and she was pronounced dead at the scene, a Harrison County Sheriff's Department official confirmed.

Moran rose to stardom on the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, in which she played the younger sister to Ron Howard's Richie Cunningham. She later went on to star on her own spinoff show centered around her character's relationship with Chachi Arcola (Scott Baio).

Other credits on Moran's résumé include several roles on the 1980s show The Love Boat, as well as appearances on Murder, She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder.

She was remembered on Twitter by Howard and another Happy Days co-star, Henry Winkler. "OH Erin... now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth ...Rest In It serenely now.. too soon," Winkler tweeted.

"Such sad news. RIP Erin. I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens," Howard wrote.

Don Most, who starred alongside Moran as the jokester Ralph Malph on Happy Days,  said in a statement, “I am so incredibly sad to hear about Erin. She was a wonderful, sweet, caring, talented woman. As I write this I can’t really comprehend this right now. A very painful loss. It gives me some comfort to know that she’s with Tom, Al, Pat and Garry. Rest In Peace, sweet Erin.”

Anson Williams, who played Richie and Ralph's close friend Potsie on the iconic sitcom, also remembered the actress. “Erin was a person who made everyone around her feel better," the actor wrote in a statement. "She truly cared about others first, a true angel. I will miss her so much, but know that she is in God’s hands. RIP sweet angel.”

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