‘Happy Days’: What Was Erin Moran’s Final Role Before Her Death?

by Courtney Blackann

“Happy Days” star Erin Moran most notably played the beloved Joanie on the popular TV series. She was perfect in her role as the sister of Richie and brought a fresh element to “Happy Days.” Though the actress struggled in her offscreen life with addiction, she is still remembered for her work on the beloved show.

While the actress went on to make several other television appearances, she also starred in many films up until her death in 2017. Her last role was the 2010 film “Not Another B Movie.” The comedy was a John Wesley Norton film.

According to IMDB, the plot centered on the following:

“An adept spoof of cinema’s behind-the-scenes experiences, Not Another B Movie combines frightening and disgusting zombies with frightening and disgusting hack directions to tell a hilarious story! With a cast that includes Ed Asner, Joe Estevez and David Faustino, it’s an insightful romp through the horror film industry and the horrors of the film industry.”

While the actress was only in her 50s, her health quickly declined. It was then she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in December 2016. An autopsy report confirmed the “Happy Days” star died from cancer, months after she passed.

“Happy Days” Star’s Death Incites Controversy

There was controversy after former “Happy Days” actor Scott Baio speculated that her lifestyle “caught up with her”. This was prior to the autopsy being released.

In a post on Facebook, the actor addressed the backlash he received for his comments.

“I was asked ONLY about Erin’s troubled past due to drug & alcohol abuse. I was still upset and said I felt that living that kind of a lifestyle will catch up with you and nothing good would come of it,” he said on Facebook, via The Chicago Tribune. “THIS WAS BEFORE THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS ANNOUNCED STATING STAGE 4 CANCER.”

Further, in an open letter, Moran’s husband addressed her cause of death. He shared details of what the doctors saw in her very shortly after the actress’s diagnosis.

“The coroner told me it was really really bad. It had spread to her spleen. She had a lot of fluid in her lungs and part of her brain was infected,” Fleischmann wrote. “The coroner said even if she was in the hospital being pumped full of antibiotics she still would not of made it. He said it was the best that she was with me and went in her sleep.”

“Happy Days” starred both Ron Howard and Henry Winkler, along with Erin Moran. The show ran for several years before being canceled. However, its lasting impression has been handed down from generation to generation. Additionally, the show is one of the most famous family comedies of all time.