'Happy Days' Star Erin Moran Died of Stage 4 Cancer, Authorities Reveal

Moran most famously played Cunningham, the younger sister to Richie Cunningham

Erin Moran, best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days, died of stage 4 cancer.

According to a report from the Harrison County Coroner, the actress’ final autopsy results revealed that “no illegal narcotics were involved in her death” and she passed away from complications related to her stage 4 cancer.

On April 24, the Harrison County Coroner’s office released an initial statement, which was obtained by WDRB News, which stated that a subsequent autopsy revealed that Moran “likely succumbed to complications of Stage 4 cancer.”

“On Saturday the 22nd day of April, 2017, Erin Marie Moran-Fleischmann passed away at her residence located in New Salisbury Indiana. A joint investigation into Mrs. Moran’s death was conducted by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and the Harrison County Coroner’s Office,” reads the statement. “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,” adds the statement.


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 died, PEOPLE confirmed.

Moran most famously played 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 Scott Baio.

WATCH: Erin Moran’s Former Costars & Neighbors Share Fond Memories of the ‘Happy Days’ Actress

“May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul,” Baio wrote on his Facebook Sunday. “I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin.”

Henry Winkler, who played Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli on Happy Days, also paid tribute, telling 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.”

Related Articles