Ron Howard Mourns Erin Moran: ‘It’s Been a Rough Time’ (Video)

“Happy Days” co-star’s death came on the heels of losing good friend Bill Paxton and stepmother Judy Howard

Ron Howard took a moment to remember his late “Happy Days” co-star Erin Moran, while on “The Talk” Monday afternoon.

“What a great, irrepressible spirit, you know, and a wonderful talent, and you know she was always the kid on the set,” the filmmaker said on the CBS talk show.

Howard, who played Richie, older brother to Moran’s Joanie on the sitcom, admitted the actress’ death Saturday “really did hit hard,” coming on the heels of some other hard deaths in his life.

“It’s been a rough time,” he said. “Bill Paxton, we lost a while back, [he was] a very good friend, and my stepmother, Judy, passed away a couple months ago. So the Erin event really did hit hard. I had no idea she was ill whatsoever.”

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

Howard did indulge in host Julie Chen’s request to share a memory of Moran that makes him smile.

“When I think of her then, which is how I choose to, she was this feisty, spirited girl,” he mused. “It was kind of a boys club; we had all the guys goofing around… I do remember a particular moment where we were in rehearsal… and somehow it was kinda turning into a shaving cream fight, and she did sneak up behind Henry Winkler with a pretty good shaving cream pie and get him.”

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