‘Happy Days’: Erin Moran Explained Why a Movie Adaptation Wouldn’t Happen Without Original Cast

by Jennifer Shea
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“Happy Days” actress Erin Moran died of cancer in April of 2017. But before she did, she weighed in on the possibility of a “Happy Days” movie, with or without the show’s original cast returning to reprise their roles.

Moran played Joanie Cunningham on “Happy Days.” And she could see the case for a “Happy Days” movie, Moran said in an undated interview with Sitcoms Online before her death. But she wanted a movie in which the original cast played the starring roles.

“I have thought about ‘Happy Days’ [being] made into a movie,” Moran said. “As far as the original cast not being a part of it, wow, I don’t know who could be who! I just don’t see it going in that direction. I can see the original cast doing the movie very easily though.”

‘Happy Days’ Star Moran Died Young

Moran was only 56 when she passed away. She died naturally of complications from stage 4 skin cancer, the autopsy found.

Moran had wrestled with financial difficulties and drug and alcohol abuse after her time on “Happy Days.” She ended her life in a small mobile home in New Salisbury, Indiana, where locals remembered her as a nice person and a considerate neighbor.

The actress once helped her shovel out from the snow, one neighbor told the Indy Star. Another neighbor ran into Moran at an H&R Block office.

“She was very friendly-like, I don’t know how to say it, a normal person,” the neighbor told the Indy Star. “She was really nice.”

Moran’s Co-Stars Mourned Her Passing

Upon learning the news that Moran had died, the actress’s “Happy Days” co-stars took to social media to share their feelings.

“OH Erin…” Henry Winkler, who played The Fonz, tweeted. “Now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth… Rest In It serenely now… too soon.”

“Such sad sad news,” added Ron Howard, who played Joanie’s older brother Richie Cunningham on “Happy Days.” “I’ll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens.”

Moran had begun her acting career at age 5, encouraged by her mother, who signed her up with an agent. But after “Happy Days” and its spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi,” the acting roles dried up for Moran. She eventually left Hollywood for the California mountains before making her way to Indiana, where she would spend her final days.

Outsider.com