The sad news broke today that Erin Moran, who played Joanie on all-time classic Happy Days and its spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi, passed away at the age of 56. TMZ reported that authorities were called to her home in Indiana where she was found unresponsive. In the wake of her death, former co-workers, friends, and fans have been giving tribute to the actress who played a fiery teen generations grew up with, starting with Henry Winkler.
Moran’s passing marks the death of someone many grew up watching on the golden era of TV. Happy Days ran from 1972 to 1984 with Moran playing Joanie Cunningham, Richie Cunningham’s troublemaking little sister who was a mainstay for six seasons and returned in the season finale to marry Scott Baio (after their spinoff ran its course).
Who could forget when the Fonz had to get Joanie out from the clutches of a no-good gang of street toughs.
For many fans, they didn’t grow up with Happy Days as a primetime staple. They watched Moran when Happy Days entered syndication and greeted millions after school. To them, Joanie and Chachi were their Sam and Diane, their Jim and Pam. It was wholesome.
Moran was most recently on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2008 and Not Another B Movie in 2010. She fell on hard times of late when reports stated she was kicked out of her trailer home due to hard-partying. Even if Moran had a fall from grace, no one will forget her roles and the joy she gave to millions.
(Via Vanity Fair)