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Erin Moran, the star of Happy Days and the short-lived Joanie Loves Chachi, passed away Saturday, April 22, at the age of 56. A cause of death hasn't been announced.
Moran began her career-defining role as Joanie Cunningham at age 14, and viewers took to this wise-cracking teenager with attitude and charm. As Happy Days progressed, Joanie developed a relationship with bad-boy wannabe Chaci Arcola, played by Scott Baio, and the couple became inseparable and a viewer-favorite.
Moran's costars, Ron Howard and Henry Winkler, tweeted their condolences shortly after TMZ broke the news.
Moran left Happy Days to play the lead in Joanie Loves Chachi but returned to Happy Days to end the show with her wedding to Chachi. It was the perfect, poignant moment to end a series that had been iconic.
Erin Moran will be forever remembered as the girl who desperately wanted to be a young woman on a show steeped in the 1950s. Her talent will be forever remembered, and I hope that, in her passing, she can be remembered as a star that once shined brightly on the small screen.
Rest in peace, Erin Moran.