Erin Moran had fallen on tough times after her days starring as Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days
After appearing on the hit sitcom Happy Days and the spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi, Erin Moran — who was found dead at age 56 on Saturday afternoon in Corydon, Indiana — seemed to have struggled with life outside of the spotlight.
Although she did not appear as a series regular after her two shows ended, Moran continued acting on TV, taking small roles on The Love Boat and Murder She Wrote in the ’80s. She also appeared on episodes of Diagnosis Murder and The Bold and the Beautiful in 1998 and 2009, respectively. She also is credited with having small roles in the films Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Broken Promises and Not Another B Movie. Moran also appeared on the VH1 reality show Celebrity Fit Club in 2008.
Despite working on and off as an actress, Moran reportedly lost her Palmdale, California, home to foreclosure in 2010, according to documents obtained by TMZ. According to the documents, the house was sold at public auction for $291,150. TMZ also reported that Moran refused to leave the home after it was sold and was served with eviction papers.
In June 2012, Moran’s publicist confirmed to ABC News that Moran and her husband Steve Fleischmann — a Walmart employee she married in 1993 — had moved into Fleischmann’s mother’s trailer in Indiana so Moran could act as her caregiver.
“Erin and her husband did in fact move in with her ailing mother-in-law over a year ago,” Moran’s publicist told ABC News. “They are helping take care of her, as any loving family would do.”
However, it appears the couple did not live with the mother-in-law for too long. In September 2012, E! News confirmed that Moran and her husband were staying at a Holiday Inn Express in Corydon. The owner of the hotel told E! News that the couple stayed there for a few days and Moran had “caused a disturbance of some type” but was not kicked out of the hotel.
A photographer also told E! News that Moran was often spotted hanging out with locals at bars in Corydon. She apparently remained in Corydon until her death on Saturday.
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It’s unclear if Moran was currently employed at the time of her death — her last listed acting credit is 2010’s Not Another B Movie, though she continued to make appearances as herself on reality TV through 2012.
In 2012, Moran reached a legal settlement for an undisclosed amount after suing CBS for breach of contract, claiming that she had not been paid for merchandising relating to Happy Days.