May 31, 2017 10:55 am
Updated: May 31, 2017 12:46 pm

Erin Moran’s official cause of death revealed

WATCH: The "Happy Days" actor's official cause of death was confirmed.

A A

An autopsy conducted on Erin Moran‘s body has confirmed her cause of death.

The actor, who played Joanie Cunningham on hit sitcom Happy Days, died naturally from complications of Stage 4 cancer, as was previously suspected by the authorities working on her case.

An autopsy report released Tuesday — which included toxicology results as well — indicated that no illegal drugs were involved in her death.

READ MORE: Olivia Newton-John reveals she has breast cancer, postpones concert dates

On the day of her passing and in the ensuing week, her former Happy Days co-star Scott Baio (who played her love interest Chachi) claimed she died from her excessive drinking and drug abuse.

“I’m OK, a little shocked … but not completely shocked that this happened,” he said on The Bernie & Sid Show. “My thing is, I feel bad because her whole life, she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content. For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die. I’m sorry if that’s cold, but God gave you a brain, gave you the will to live and thrive, and you gotta take care of yourself.”

The backlash against Baio from Moran fans, cancer survivors and the Internet in general, was fierce, and eventually Baio recanted his comments on Facebook (the post is not embeddable).

Moran’s husband, Steven Fleischmann, also wrote an open letter detailing his wife’s final days and her struggle with cancer. Baio, despite his comments, is still a family friend, and Fleischmann gave him the letter to post it on social media.

READ MORE: Dan Aykroyd narrates History’s ‘The World Without Canada’: Where would the planet be without us?

(The Facebook post is not public, and isn’t embeddable. Here is a screenshot of the letter in its entirety.)

Moran, 59, died on April 22 in the rural community of New Salisbury, about 20 miles northwest of Louisville, Ky.

WATCH BELOW: Happy Days actor responds to Erin Moran’s death

A Burbank, Calif. native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She had several years of experience when she was cast in 1974 in Happy Days as Joanie, the kid sister to high school student Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard. Other cast members included Tom Bosley and Marion Ross as Joanie’s parents, and Henry Winkler as the iconic “Fonz.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.