‘Happy Days’: Joanie Actor Erin Moran Said Wearing Show’s Outfits Was ‘Hard at the Beginning’

by Joe Rutland
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“Happy Days” star Erin Moran admitted that wearing the show’s 1950s era outfits as Joanie Cunningham wasn’t always a lot of fun.

Moran, responding to questions in an interview for Sitcoms Online, said, “I liked wearing the ’50s wardrobe. It was hard in the beginning.

“(In) the first shows I wore regular young girl dresses,” Moran said. “Then a little later, I got to wear the poodle skirts and such.”

Her role as the youngest in the Cunningham household would find Moran in different situations. Sometimes, Joanie would be dealing with Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler. On the show, you might recall he always called Moran’s character “Shortcake.”

Moran Had Role Alongside Scott Baio In ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’

On “Happy Days,” Moran also found herself paired up with Scott Baio, who played Chachi first on “Happy Days” and then in the spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi.” That lasted just one season on ABC before it was canceled.

Now Moran said the length of the show was not a surprise to her at all.

“‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ was never intended to go any further than it did,” she said. “It was set up exactly the way the producers and the heads of the network wanted it to be, which was a limited-time run.”

Moran’s life after “Happy Days,” unlike her other costars, was not as successful. She battled with depression substance abuse issues. Moran died in April 2017 from throat cancer at 56 years old.

Anson Williams Found Himself Dealing With ‘Happy Days’ Star’s Death

Anson Williams, who played Potsie on the show, admitted in an interview just months after Moran’s death that he was still reeling from the loss.

“In ‘Lisa, Bright and Dark,’ Erin played Kay’s sister,” Williams explained to Smashing Interviews. “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. I said, ‘Hey, I just worked with this wonderful young actress.’ They brought her in, read her, and she got the part.”

Williams only said about her life before the show that the “Happy Days” star had a less-than-perfect childhood.

“I don’t want to get into her personal life, but Erin had a really harsh upbringing,” Williams said. “No child should have the family she had. She didn’t get the upbringing a child should have, which really makes life hard. She had a lot of problems for a lot of years, but then she and her wonderful husband, Steve, really straightened themselves out beautifully. They were really back on track when this cancer hit her.”

Moran played a role in one of television’s most popular sitcoms. She’ll always have a spot in “Happy Days” fans’ hearts.

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