Now The Andy Griffith Show 9:00PM Mama's Family

R.I.P. Erin Moran of 'Happy Days' and 'Joanie Loves Chachi'

The actress best known as Joanie Cunningham died at 56.

Image: AP Photo / Wally Fong

Erin Moran landed her first regular television role just before she turned eight years old, in 1968. The young California native portrayed an orphan who joined the family of Dr. Tracy on Daktari, a family drama about a veterinarian, a crossed-eyed lion and a chimpanzee. Moran worked on Daktari for its final season.

After that gig, Moran picked up guest roles on series like Family Affair and Gunsmoke before landing the job that would make the child star a household name — and teen idol. In 1974, Moran worked alongside Ron Howard as Joanie Cunningham on Happy Days. The young daughter of Howard and Marion grew up before millions as she developed a relationship with Chachi, the cousin of Fonzie.

The young couple spun-off into their own series, Joanie Loves Chachi. That series with Scott Baio lasted for 17 episodes.

After her time as Joanie was up, Moran faded from Hollywood. In recent years, she was living in Indiana.

Earlier today, TMZ reported that Moran was found unresponsive. When EMT's arrived, the actress was pronounced dead. She was 56 years old.

Moran will live on, onscreen, as the charming young Cunningham of Happy Days.

People we have lost in 2017

Don Rickles

The legendary comedian passed away at the age of 90. READ MORE

Mary Tyler Moore

The television icon leaves behind a vast legacy. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

BARBARA HALE OF 'PERRY MASON'

The actress who was Della Street passed away at the age of 94. READ MORE

Chuck Barris, host of 'The Gong Show'

The iconic game-show guru passed away at 87. READ MORE

Mike Connors, star of 'Mannix'

The actor will be forever remembered for his tough-guy television role. READ MORE

LAWRENCE MONTAIGNE OF 'STAR TREK'

The actor nearly replaced Leonard Nimoy as Spock. Learn the fascinating story of this character actor. READ MORE

MIGUEL FERRER, SON OF JOSÉ FERRER AND ROSEMARY CLOONEY

Rosemary Clooney's eldest son gave us great characters in 'NCIS: Los Angeles,' 'Twin Peaks' and 'RoboCop.' READ MORE

Dick Gautier, Hymie the Robot from 'Get Smart'

The actor also starred in 'Mr. Terrific' and provided voices for G.I. Joe and Transformers. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

Francine York, 'Batman' actress and 1960s star

She was the Bookworm's henchwoman — and much more. READ MORE

Image: The Everett Collection

  • Don Rickles
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • BARBARA HALE OF 'PERRY MASON'
  • Chuck Barris, host of 'The Gong Show'
  • Mike Connors, star of 'Mannix'
  • LAWRENCE MONTAIGNE OF 'STAR TREK'
  • MIGUEL FERRER, SON OF JOSÉ FERRER AND ROSEMARY CLOONEY
  • Dick Gautier, Hymie the Robot from 'Get Smart'
  • Francine York, 'Batman' actress and 1960s star
  • Don Rickles
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • BARBARA HALE OF 'PERRY MASON'
  • Chuck Barris, host of 'The Gong Show'
  • Mike Connors, star of 'Mannix'
  • LAWRENCE MONTAIGNE OF 'STAR TREK'
  • MIGUEL FERRER, SON OF JOSÉ FERRER AND ROSEMARY CLOONEY
  • Dick Gautier, Hymie the Robot from 'Get Smart'
  • Francine York, 'Batman' actress and 1960s star

Watch Happy Days on MeTV – Weekdays at 6 PM *available in most MeTV markets

Love memorable entertainment? Find out where to watch MeTV