The Daily Mail reports the cause of death to be a suspected heroin overdose.
Excerpt from the Hollywood Reporter
The actress was best known for her role as Ron Howard’s little sister on the ’70s sitcom.
Erin Moran, best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham on the sitcoms Happy Days and its spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi, has died.
Moran was found by Harrison County dispatch officers in Indiana responding to an “unresponsive female” report. Upon arriving at the scene, officers identified Moran and she pronounced dead at the scene, a Harrison County Sheriff official confirmed.
Moran rose to stardom on the 1970s sitcom Happy Days, in which she played the younger sister to Ron Howard’s Richie Cunningham. She later went on to star in her own spinoff show centered around her character’s relationship with Chachi Arcola (Scott Baio).
Other credits on Moran’s resume include a series regular role on the ’80s romantic series The Love Boat, as well as appearances on Murder, She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder.
She was remembered on Twitter by Happy Days costars Ron Howard and Henry Winkler. “OH Erin… now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth …Rest In It serenely now.. too soon,” Winkler tweeted.
“Such sad news. RIP Erin. I’ll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens,” Howard wrote.
CNN reports that an autopsy is pending.
The Daily Mail reported in 2012 that the former actress was homeless.
She was reportedly evicted from her mother-in-law’s trailer for “hard partying.”