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Erin Moran, Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days," dies at 56.

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/23/2017 BY HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer
FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2008 file photo, Erin Moran arrives at the Fox Reality Channel Really Awards in Los Angeles. Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at age 56. Police in Harrison County, Indiana said that she had been found unresponsive Saturday, April 22, 2017, after authorities received a 911 call. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2008 file photo, Erin Moran arrives at the Fox Reality Channel Really Awards in Los Angeles. Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at age 56. Police in Harrison County, Indiana said that she had been found unresponsive Saturday, April 22, 2017, after authorities received a 911 call. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," died Saturday at age 56.

FILE - This Feb. 19, 1982 file photo shows actress Erin Moran of the television show, "Happy Days" in Los Angeles. Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at age 56. Police in Harrison County, Indiana said that she had been found unresponsive Saturday, April 22, 2017, after authorities received a 911 call. (AP Photo/Wally Fong, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This Feb. 19, 1982 file photo shows actress Erin Moran of the television show, "Happy Days" in Los Angeles. Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at age 56. Police in Harrison County, Indiana said that she had been found unresponsive Saturday, April 22, 2017, after authorities received a 911 call. (AP Photo/Wally Fong, File)

A statement from the sheriff's department in Harrison County, Indiana, said the dispatcher "received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Upon arrival of first responders, it was determined that Erin Moran Fleischmann was deceased. An autopsy is pending."

FILE - In this June 18, 2009 file photo, actresses Erin Moran, left, and Marion Ross pose together at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' "A Father's Day Salute to TV Dads" in the North Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at age 56. Police in Harrison County, Indiana said that she had been found unresponsive Saturday, April 22, 2017, after authorities received a 911 call. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this June 18, 2009 file photo, actresses Erin Moran, left, and Marion Ross pose together at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' "A Father's Day Salute to TV Dads" in the North Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at age 56. Police in Harrison County, Indiana said that she had been found unresponsive Saturday, April 22, 2017, after authorities received a 911 call. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

The dispatcher confirmed to The Associated Press that the woman was the actress, who had been married to Steven Fleischmann.

FILE - In this July 12, 2001 file photo, Garry Marshall, from left, Tom Bosley, Marion Ross, Erin Moran, Henry Winkler, and Anson Williams of the television show "Happy Days," pose after Ross received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at age 56. Police in Harrison County, Indiana said that she had been found unresponsive Saturday, April 22, 2017, after authorities received a 911 call. (AP Photo/E.J. Flynn, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this July 12, 2001 file photo, Garry Marshall, from left, Tom Bosley, Marion Ross, Erin Moran, Henry Winkler, and Anson Williams of the television show "Happy Days," pose after Ross received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," has died at age 56. Police in Harrison County, Indiana said that she had been found unresponsive Saturday, April 22, 2017, after authorities received a 911 call. (AP Photo/E.J. Flynn, File)

A Burbank, California native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had nearly a decade's worth of experience when she was cast in 1974 in "Happy Days" as Joanie Cunningham, the kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard.

Debuting at a time of nostalgia for the seemingly innocent 1950s, the sitcom was set in Milwaukee and soon became a hit. Howard and Henry Winkler, who played tough guy Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli, were the show's biggest stars, but Moran also became popular. In 1982, she was paired off with fellow "Happy Days" performer Scott Baio in the short-lived "Joanie Loves Chachi."

Her more recent credits included "The Love Boat" and "Murder, She Wrote," but she never approached the success of "Happy Days" and was more often in the news for her numerous personal struggles.

"OH Erin... now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth," Winkler tweeted. "Rest In It serenely now.. too soon."

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