Before ‘Happy Days,’ Joanie Cunningham Actor Erin Moran Guest Starred on ‘Gunsmoke’ Twice

by Joe Rutland

Much like many actors, Happy Days star Erin Moran put her time in on other TV shows like CBS western drama Gunsmoke.

Moran, whom people around the world know as Joanie Cunningham from the ABC sitcom, did these roles according to IMDb.

She appeared as Jenny in P.S. Murry Christmas and as Rachel Parker in Lijah.

Yes, Outsiders, Moran was hanging around Dodge City with Marshal Matt Dillon, played by James Arness.

But her most famous work was on Happy Days. She was on the show for its entire 10-season run, ending in 1984.

Sadly, the actress died on April 22, 2017, at 56 years old from cancer.

‘Happy Days’ Co-Star Don Most Talked About Being Shocked At Moran’s Death

Happy Days actor Don Most has a lot of fond memories from time spent with Moran on the set.

Most talked about her in a 2020 interview.

“Oh boy… the one thing that immediately popped into my head just now… I’m having a vision of her when she was 13,” Most said. “She had this incredible light in her, even at such a young age.”

The actor recalled that Moran had a vibrancy and a sweetness about her. Most said she was talented and could combine all of that together.

Most, who played Ralph Malph for most of Happy Days run on ABC, said he saw Moran about a year before she died.

“I remember those conversations about our time working together very well,” he said. “You still felt that light in her. She hadn’t been diagnosed yet with anything. I found out about six months later that she was sick. But I truly didn’t get a sense that it was that far gone.”

Most said when he got the news that she died, he said that he was shocked.

Anson Williams Remembers Sitcom Co-Star’s Work Before Getting Joanie Role

In 2016, doctors diagnosed Moran with throat cancer around Thanksgiving.

Months later, her health deteriorated significantly and she would die from complications due to throat cancer.

In 2017, Anson Williams, who played Potsie Weber, talked about her. Williams had known Moran since she was 12 years old. It was Williams who suggested her for the role.

“I’m still reeling from that,” Williams said in an interview with Smashing Interviews. “In Lisa, Bright and Dark, Erin played Kay’s sister. She was 12 years old and she was just adorable.

“When I was hired again for the second pilot of Happy Days, they were recasting Joanie and I recommended her,” Williams said. “I said, ‘Hey, I just worked with this wonderful young actress.’ They brought her in, read her, and she got the part.”

Moran also had a starring role alongside Scott Baio in Joanie Loves Chachi.