The ‘Happy Days’ Stars You Probably Didn’t Know Were Siblings

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

While Erin Moran starred in over 230 episodes of “Happy Days,” her sibling and fellow actor, John Moran, only starred in one alongside his sister.

Most “Happy Days” fans probably don’t remember the Moran siblings starring together in the episode. It took place in Season 3 and was titled “Football Frolics.” Per IMDb, the synopsis on the episode reads, “Richie, Ralph & Potsie decide to babysit 15 kids at once, to earn fast money to attend a big football game.”

What could go wrong with those three babysitting a bunch of random kids? Everything you’d expect. Apparently, John Moran played a particular bratty kid named Myron who got into it with Fonz (Henry Winkler). Erin Moran appears in the episode as Joanie Cunningham, but it’s unclear if she ever interacts with her little brother.

According to the classic TV site MeTV, Erin was 16 at the time while John was only nine. This was also John’s first acting credit ever, and he’d go on to star in several more projects. Though the siblings never starred in another show or film again after “Happy Days.”

John would gain a role in “The Princess Diaries” in 2001 and star in “Scary or Die,” a 2012 horror film. Other than that, John mostly focused on short films like “Red, White, and You,” “Reset,” “What Friends Are For,” “Decay,” and “Both Sides of the Gun.”

Erin, meanwhile, starred in various TV series both before and after her “Happy Days” debut. You might recognize her from “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” in 2009. But Erin also had an extensive acting career before she joined the family sitcom. She made appearances in her own spin-off series, “Joanie Loves Chachi,” for 17 episodes. You also might’ve seen her in “The Waltons,” “Gunsmoke,” “My Three Sons,” and “Family Affair.”

How Erin Moran Struggled to Keep Her Siblings and Family Together While Filming ‘Happy Days’

While siblings Erin and John Moran might have enjoyed starring in “Happy Days” together, the experience on the show overall wasn’t that great for the Moran family. Marion Ross, Erin’s co-star, opened up about the Joanie Cunningham actress’s experience as a child actress.

“Fame is tough,” Ross said in a 2002 interview. “And I think it was tough on Erin. She’d been acting since she was about 5. And I think what happened in her case was her family sort of disintegrated around her, whereas Ron Howard’s parents were like rocks and stayed the same.”

She added, “Erin’s parents seem to be a little bit swept away with all of this. So Erin was like the boss of the family. She was the breadwinner and had to hold everything together. These kids are sent to school, then back to the set, then back to school. So by the time Erin would come back to the set we were in the midst of a big joke or we’d worked out something that she would have to see quickly what it was she’d have to fit into. It was double responsibility for her.”

Erin Moran sadly died in 2017 at the age of 56.