Erin Moran's Husband Once Revealed What the 'Happy Days' Star's Tragic Final Days Were Like
Former child star Erin Moran once entertained fans as the mischievous Joanie on “Happy Days.” After Erin’s death, her husband Steve Fleischmann shared how a shocking cancer diagnosis suddenly cut her life short.
Erin died precisely 25 years after she first met Steve. In an open letter published on his behalf, he recalled how they first noticed something amiss after their anniversary around Thanksgiving in 2016.
Unfortunately, they were surprised to wake up and see a dime-sized bloodstain on her pillowcase. At first, they did not think anything of it.
ERIN'S HEALTH STRUGGLES
56 years old at the time, Erin thought she had bitten her tongue. However, a few days into December 2016, the same thing happened again. They realized it wasn't a problem with her tongue but with her tonsils. Steve said:
“It was not her tongue; it was her tonsil on the left side. I thought it was tonsillitis. So we went to an ENT who said they wanted to biopsy it."
GETTING TREATED FOR CANCER
The biopsy revealed that Erin had squamous cell carcinoma, and she got treated right away. She underwent chemo once a week and radiation five days a week. However, the treatment did little to curb the spreading of cancer, and by the middle of February 2017, Erin couldn’t speak, eat, or drink anymore.
A feeding tube got implanted through which Steve then fed her six to eight times a day. Erin kept her spirits up and “texted people on her phone all day” until April 21, 2017, when she had trouble breathing. When she woke up the following morning, Steve could see she “was not 100%.”
HER FINAL MOMENTS
Steve went to the store to get Erin some tissue and decided to lay down next to her when he got back. He dozed off for about an hour holding Erin’s hand. When he woke up, with her hand still in his, she had passed. Steve added:
“The coroner said that even if she were in the hospital being pumped full of antibiotics, she still would not have made it. He said it was the best that she was with me and went in her sleep.”
Born Erin Marie Moran on October 18, 1960, and raised in North Hollywood along with her five siblings, she was five years old when her mother Sharon signed Erin up with a talent agent. Soon after, she landed her first gig in a TV commercial and played minor characters during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Her prominent role as Joanie in the popular sitcom "Happy Days" came after Erin turned 12. The show ran for 11 seasons and ended when Erin was 22; she never held another leading role afterward.
HOW ERIN IS REMEMBERED
“Happy Days” aired from 1974 until 1984 and became one of the most iconic comedy shows in the history of television. Following the star's death, her co-stars Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, and Scott Baio paid their respects on social media.
However, Baio, who was once Erin's on-screen and off-screen boyfriend, suddenly made quite a harsh remark on "The Bernie & Sid Show" about her death. He said that while he was a little surprised, he wasn't "completely shocked" about her passing.
Such sad sad news. RIP Erin. I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens. https://t.co/8HmdL0JKlf— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) April 23, 2017
He went on to say that he felt bad for Erin because he knew that "she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content."
Baio further implied that she may have used drugs or alcohol that led to her passing. It was only when Erin's husband Steve spoke out that Baio retracted his statement.
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