Happy Days star Erin Moran's death likely result of cancer

Authorities say former Happy Days star Erin Moran likely died from cancer at her southern Indiana home.

A statement released Monday by the Harrison County Sheriff's Department says an autopsy revealed the 56-year-old actress had stage-four cancer, but doesn't specify what type.

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The department says Moran died Saturday in the rural community of New Salisbury, about 20 miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky.

Officials say standard toxicology test results are pending but that no illegal narcotics were found at the home.

Moran's final days were plagued with instability as she moved from home to home and was last known to be living at a Holiday Inn Express where she was spotted in 2012.

Erin Moran played Joanie Cunningham in Happy Days. Photo / AP
Erin Moran played Joanie Cunningham in Happy Days. Photo / AP

Before that, it was reported she had been staying in a trailer park with her husband Steve Fleischmann and his mother.

Paul Petersen, of the child-actor advocacy group A Minor Consideration, suggested her distance from the support system of former child stars may have worsened matters.

"She was so far away in Indiana," Petersen said in a Facebook post on Monday. "The help she ran from was right here, as close as a call."

Still, he says they did all they could for Moran.

"I am proud of our efforts over the years to help Erin Moran whose troubles were many and complex. Don't doubt for a moment that we tried ... sincerely tried through time and treasure ... to give comfort to one of our own.

"At least a half-dozen [former child stars] were actively reaching out to Erin in the last week of her life ... From Paris to London, from New York to LA, our members were in there pitching, doing what they could to help. Do not doubt that for a minute."

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