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Erin Moran
Erin Moran (cropped).JPG
Moran in 2008
Erin Marie Moran

(1960-10-18)October 18, 1960
Died April 22, 2017(2017-04-22) (aged 56)
Other names Erin Marie Fleischmann
Occupation Actress
Years active 1966–2012
Known for Happy Days
Joanie Loves Chachi
Rocky Ferguson
(m. 1987; div. 1993)
Steven Fleischmann
(m. 1993)
Relatives Tony Moran (brother)

Erin Marie Moran-Fleischmann (October 18, 1960 – April 22, 2017) was an American actress, best known for playing Joanie Cunningham on the television sitcom Happy Days and its spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi.

Early life

Erin Marie Moran was born on October 18, 1960, in Burbank, California in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and raised in nearby Los Angeles in the North Hollywood district. She was the second youngest of six children born to Sharon and Edward Moran. Her father was a finance manager, and her interest in acting was supported by her mother, who signed her with a talent agent when she was five years old. Two of her brothers are also actors, John Moran and Tony Moran, the latter of whom played the unmasked Michael Myers in the movie Halloween (1978).

She would publicly accuse her parents of physical and mental abuse in 1992.


Erin Moran Joanie Cunningham 1976
Moran as Joanie Cunningham in 1976

Moran's first acting role was at the age of five in a television commercial for First Federal Bank. At the age of seven, she was cast as Jenny Jones in the television series Daktari, during its fourth and final season in 1968. She made her feature-film debut in How Sweet It Is! (1968) with Debbie Reynolds, and made regular appearances on The Don Rickles Show in 1972, and guest appearances in The Courtship of Eddie's Father, My Three Sons, Bearcats!, Family Affair and in The Waltons, in an episode titled "The Song", in 1975. She also appeared in the television series Gunsmoke.

In 1974, at the age of 13, Moran was cast to play her best-known role as Joanie Cunningham on the sitcom Happy Days, the younger sister of Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard). Moran continued the role in 1982 in the short-lived spin-off series Joanie Loves Chachi. Moran later stated that she had only reluctantly agreed to star in the series because she would have preferred to remain with Happy Days. She won the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a New Television Series for her role. After Joanie Loves Chachi's cancellation in 1983, she returned to Happy Days for its final season. .....

In the following years, Moran made several other television guest appearances, including The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, and Diagnosis: Murder, and starred opposite Edward Albert in the cult sci-fi horror film Galaxy of Terror (1981). She would become estranged from the Happy Days cast, with People claiming that she called them "evil" in an interview, a statement she would deny on a later talk show.

In 2008, she was a contestant on VH1's reality show Celebrity Fit Club. Two years later, she made an appearance in the independent comedy feature Not Another B Movie (2010). In 2013, despite reports that she would be reunited with Happy Days co-stars Henry Winkler, Ron Howard, and Scott Baio in the fourth season of Arrested Development, she did not appear in the revamped Netflix series.

Happy Days lawsuit

On April 19, 2011, Moran, three of her Happy Days co-stars—Don Most, Anson Williams, and Marion Ross—and the estate of Tom Bosley, who died in 2010, filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against CBS, which owns the show. The suit claimed that cast members had not been paid merchandising revenues owed under their contracts. Revenues included those from show-related items such as comic books, T-shirts, scrapbooks, trading cards, games, lunch boxes, dolls, toy cars, magnets, greeting cards, and DVDs with cast members' likenesses on the box covers. Their contracts entitled the actors to be paid 5% of the net proceeds of merchandising if a single actor's likeness was used, and half that amount if the cast members were pictured in a group. CBS stated it owed the actors between $8,500 and $9,000 each, most of it from slot-machine revenues, but the group stated they were owed millions. The lawsuit was initiated after Ross was informed by a friend playing slots at a casino of a Happy Days machine on which players won the jackpot when five Marion Rosses were rolled.

In October 2011, a judge rejected the group's claim of fraud, thereby eliminating the possibility of recouping millions of dollars in damages. On June 5, 2012, a judge denied a motion to dismiss filed by CBS, which meant the case would go to trial on July 17 if not settled by then. In July 2012, the actors settled their lawsuit with CBS; each received a payment of $65,000 and a promise from CBS to continue honoring the terms of their contracts.

Personal life and death

In 1987, Moran married Rocky Ferguson. They divorced in 1993. Later that year, she married Steven Fleischmann.

After Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi were canceled, Moran moved from Los Angeles to the California mountains. She said in 1988 that she suffered from depression and was unable to get acting roles. Moran confirmed news reports that her California home was foreclosed on in 2010, following media claims that she had been served eviction papers and moved into her mother-in-law's trailer home in Indiana. In 2017, Variety wrote that she "had fallen on hard times in recent years. She was reportedly kicked out of her trailer-park home in Indiana because of her hard-partying ways."

On April 22, 2017, authorities in Corydon, Indiana were alerted about an unresponsive female, later identified as Moran. She later was pronounced dead at the age of 56. An autopsy report from the Harrison County coroner indicated the cause of death to be complications of stage four squamous cell carcinoma of the throat. ..... Moran's husband, in an open letter released through her co-star Scott Baio, confirmed that she first experienced symptoms of throat cancer around Thanksgiving 2016 and deteriorated rapidly from that point, and that the facilities that had unsuccessfully attempted to treat her cancer had not made anyone aware of how badly the cancer had metastasized.

Filmography and television appearances

  • 1967: Who's Minding the Mint? as Little Girl on Tricycle (uncredited)
  • 1968: How Sweet It Is! as Laurie
  • 1968: Stanley vs. the System
  • 1968–69: Daktari as Jenny Jones
  • 1969: Death Valley Days as Mary Tugwell (2 episodes)
  • 1969: 80 Steps to Jonah as Kim
  • 1969: The Happy Ending as Marge Wilson as a Child (uncredited)
  • 1970: The Courtship of Eddie's Father as Emily Ruth Gustafson
  • 1970–1973: The F.B.I. as Vickie Florea / Cindy Marot (2 episodes)
  • 1970: My Three Sons as Victoria Lewis
  • 1970: Watermelon Man as Janice Gerber
  • 1970–71: Family Affair as Amy / Mary Ellen / Janet (3 episodes)
  • 1971: O'Hara, U.S. Treasury as Little Girl
  • 1971: The Smith Family as Julie
  • 1971: Bearcats! as Elisa Tillman
  • 1971: Gunsmoke as Rachel / Jenny (2 episodes)
  • 1972: The Don Rickles Show as Janie Robinson
  • 1973: Lisa, Bright and Dark as Tracy Schilling
  • 1973: The F.B.I. as Morrie Prager's daughter (S9E6)
  • 1974–1984: Happy Days as Joanie Cunningham (234 episodes)
  • 1975: The Waltons as Sally Ann Harper
  • 1975: Dinah! as Herself
  • 1976: The Captain and Tennille as Herself
  • 1977: The Magic Pony (voice)
  • 1978–79: The Mike Douglas Show as Herself (2 episodes)
  • 1978–79: The Hollywood Squares as Herself (6 episodes)
  • 1979: Greatest Heroes of the Bible as Tova
  • 1979: Sitcom: The Adventures of Garry Marshall as Herself (uncredited)
  • 1980–1985: The Love Boat as Carrie Walker / Joanne Morgan / Barbara Blatnick / Janet Reynolds (6 episodes)
  • 1980: Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve as Herself
  • 1981: Twirl as Bonnie Lee Jordan
  • 1981: Galaxy of Terror as Alluma
  • 1981: 38th Golden Globe Awards as Herself
  • 1982: 39th Golden Globe Awards as Herself
  • 1982–83: Joanie Loves Chachi as Joanie Cunningham (17 episodes)
  • 1983: Hotel as Karen Donnelly
  • 1984: Glitter as Caroline Mason
  • 1984: Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour as Herself (10 episodes)
  • 1986: Murder, She Wrote as Maggie Roberts
  • 1992: The Howard Stern Show as Herself
  • 1996: Dear God as Herself
  • 1998: Diagnosis: Murder as Cynthia Bennett
  • 1998: Desperation Boulevard as Herself
  • 1999: Celebrity Profile as Herself
  • 1999: Good vs. Evil as Herself
  • 1999: Entertainment Tonight Presents: Happy Days - Secrets as Herself
  • 2000: I Love 1970's as Herself
  • 2001: TVography: Happy Days as Herself
  • 2001: Weakest Link as Herself
  • 2001–2003: Hollywood Squares as Herself (7 episodes)
  • 2002: Inside TV Land: 40 Greatest Theme Songs as Herself
  • 2003: ABC's 50th Anniversary Celebration as Herself
  • 2003: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star as Herself
  • 2004: Pyramid as Herself
  • 2005: Happy Days: 30th Anniversary Reunion as Herself
  • 2006: Where Are They Now? as Herself
  • 2007: Scott Baio is 45 and Single as Herself
  • 2007: The Singing Bee as Herself
  • 2008: Today as Herself
  • 2008: Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp as Herself
  • 2008: Broken Promise as Mrs. Watkins
  • 2008: The Early Show as Herself
  • 2008: Fox Reality Awards as Herself
  • 2008: Whatever Happened To? as Herself
  • 2008: Mother Goose Parade as Herself
  • 2009: The Bold and the Beautiful as Kelly DeMartin
  • 2009: Catch 21 as Herself
  • 2010: Not Another B Movie as Mrs. Klien
  • 2010: Totally Tracked Down as Herself
  • 2012: The Deceit as Mrs. Shephard (final film role)
  • 2012: Celebrity Ghost Stories as Herself (final TV role)


  • Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003) ("Child Stars on Your Television")
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