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‘Happy Days’ Star Erin Moran Cause of Death Confirmed

Actress likely died from complications due to cancer, according to autopsy

“Happy Days” star Erin Moran likely died due to complications from cancer, officials told TheWrap.

The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office said Monday an autopsy revealed that Moran “likely succumbed to complications of stage 4 cancer.”

EMTs were called at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday to an Indiana home to tend an “unresponsive female,” the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

“A joint investigation into Mrs. Moran’s death was conducted by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and the Harrison County Coroner’s office,” the full statement said. “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.”

Moran was just six years old when she was cast in the TV series “Daktari,” where her most unusually co-stars included a chimp named Judy and Clarence the Lion. During that three-season run, she made her film debut in the Debbie Reynolds comedy “How Sweet It is!”

As a child, Moran also appeared in Melvin Van Peebles’ “Watermelon Man” and made guest appearances in “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” “My Three Sons,” “Family Affair” and “Gunsmoke.”

But Moran was best known for playing Ron Howard’s feisty little sister, Joanie Cunningham, on the sitcom “Happy Days” from the time she was 12 until 22 (1974-1984). Her teaming with onscreen love interest Scott Baio proved to be so popular that they spun off into their own short-lived series, “Joanie Loves Chachi.”