It’s been one year already since Erin Moran, best known as Joannie Cunningham on Happy Days, passed away.
The circumstances of her passing were a mystery as the details of it were not immediately revealed. According to Uplifting Today, several people, including Scott Baio, who worked with Moran in the show, believed she committed suicide.
All of them thought that because her personal life became a mess after Happy Days ended. Moran struggled to make ends meet and started drinking alcohol and doing drugs to deal with it.
Producers and directors in Hollywood decided that a person with such public problems would not be good for their projects and she stopped receiving job offers. Her house was foreclosed and she was forced to live with her mother in law in a trailer park.
Things improved a bit for her, financially speaking, when she and the rest of the actors won a $10 million lawsuit (each actor got $65,000) against CBS. They claimed that the contract the network did was not fair.
While it might seem like a lot of money, it wasn’t enough to pay all her debts and to help her bring her life together. On April 22, 2017, she was found dead under mysterious circumstances.
Even though most of her Happy Days colleagues admitted to being saddened and shocked by her passing, Baio pointed out that he was not surprised because of her drug and alcohol problems.
Baio regretted his comments when it was revealed that Moran had been battling stage IV cancer. Steve Fleischmann, her husband, confessed she was diagnosed in December 2016 and that it was so strong that she couldn’t even eat by herself in February 2017.
The coroner in charge of Moran’s case added that her cancer had spread to her spleen, lungs, and brain already and that her lungs were full of fluid when the emergency arrived at the scene where she was found.