She left to star in Joanie Loves Chachi, but that show was canceled after one season. Her body was found unresponsive by authorities in IN, with the coroner citing stage-four cancer as the cause of death.
Moran had stage 4 cancer, and likely died from complications, according to autopsy results released by the Harrison County Sheriff's Office.
Moran died at her southern IN home Saturday, April 22nd.
While toxicology tests were performed as a matter of course, the authorities noted, "no illegal narcotics were found at the residence". She was only 13-years-old when the show began in 1974.
Moran played Joanie Cunningham, Howard's younger sister, on the 1970s sitcom. Moran's untimely death on Saturday at age 56 was followed by an outpouring of support from the entertainment community, including her "Happy Days" co-stars.
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Though the type of cancer has not been identified, a source told People that Moran had to be fed through a "gastrointestinal tube" by her mother-in-law during her last days.
"It's hard to wrap your arms around it", says Moran's Happy Days costar and longtime friend Anson Williams.
The "Desperation Boulevard" actress saw her fortunes wane over the years due to heavy drinking and freakish behaviour and ended up living in a trailer park in Indiana. Ron Howard, who played Richie, her big brother on "Happy Days", tweeted, "I will always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up TV screens".
"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", he added.
Moran was a smoker, but Petersen, 71, and Wishnoff said they didn't know what impact that habit had on her cancer.
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