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‘Happy Days’ Star Erin Moran Died of Cancer, Coroner Says

Variety logo Variety 4/24/2017 Variety Staff
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Erin Moran, known for playing Joanie Cunningham on “Happy Days,” most likely died of stage-four cancer, Variety has confirmed.

The cause of death was released on Monday in a joint statement from the Harrison County Coroner’s office and sheriff’s department.

“A joint investigation into Mrs. Moran’s death was conducted by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and the Harrison County Coroner’s office,” the statement reads. “A subsequent autopsy revealed that Mrs. Moran likely succumbed to complications of stage 4 cancer. Standard toxicology tests were performed and the results are pending however no illegal narcotics were found at the residence.”

The California-born actress, who also starred in the “Happy Days” spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi,” had reportedly fallen on hard times in recent years. Moran’s untimely death on Saturday at age 56 was followed by an outpouring of support from the entertainment community, including her “Happy Days” co-stars.

Henry Winkler wrote in a statement, “I will always remember Erin with her sweet smile that greeted me on the very first day I walked onto the set of ‘Happy Days’ in 1974. She was only nine years old. For the next 10 years that smile never faded. Unfortunately yesterday it did. My condolences go out to her family. She will always be locked in my heart.”

Scott Baio, who appeared with Moran on both series, shared his condolences on Twitter: “Many people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul. I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin,” he wrote.

Moran’s other TV credits included “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” She most recently appeared on VH1’s reality show “Celebrity Fit Club” in 2008 and the low-budget film “Not Another B Movie” in 2010.

See the statement regarding Moran’s cause of death below:

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