Scott Baio Pays Tribute to Happy Days Costar Erin Moran: 'God Has You Now'
"May people remember Erin [Moran] for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul," Scott Baio wrote on Facebook
“May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul,” he wrote on his Facebook Sunday. “I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin.”
Officers in Harrison County in Indiana responded to reports of an unresponsive female in Corydon, Indiana, on Saturday afternoon. First responders determined that the woman, identified as Moran, had deceased, PEOPLE has confirmed (the news was first reported by TMZ). An autopsy is pending. Neighbors tell PEOPLE that Moran died in her mother-in-law’s trailer, where she had been living with her husband since 2011.
Moran most famously played Joanie Cunningham, the younger sister to Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard) on Happy Days, which ran from 1974 to 1984. She also starred in the spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi from 1982 to 1983, which followed her character’s romance with Chachi, played by Baio.
Henry Winkler, who played Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli on Happy Days, led the tributes from the cast. He told PEOPLE, “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 ten years that smile never faded. Unfortunately yesterday it did. My condolences go out to her family. She will always be locked in my heart.”
Don Most, who played class clown Ralph Malph on the show, told PEOPLEin 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 Potsie on the ’70s and ’80s sitcom, also shared his condolences in a statement:
“Erin was a person who made everyone around her feel better,” he said 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.”
Neighbors of Moran remembered her as a friendly member of their mobile home community but said she became more reclusive in recent months.
“I used to see her all the time, walking up to get the mail or just out for a stroll,” says neighbor David Holt, 61. “She always waved or stopped to say hello. But I hadn’t seen her for a couple of months. She kind of hibernated at the end. It’s so sad. She was a good person.”