'I always hoped she could find peace in her life': Erin Moran's Happy Days co-star Scott Baio pays tribute to the late actress who died at the age of 56

  • Child star Erin Moran was found dead aged 56 by EMTs in Indiana on Saturday
  • A source told DailyMail.com that she died of a suspected heroin overdose 
  • She shot to fame in her role as Joanie on the popular sitcom Happy Days
  • Her co-stars including Henry Winkler said they hoped she would find peace
  • Scott Baio was her co-star on 'Happy Days' and its spin-off 'Joanie loves Chachi'
  • Wrote on Facebook Sunday that he hopes people remember her for her 'warm heart' 

Scott Baio, Erin Moran's 'Happy Days' co-star, penned a Facebook tribute to his recently deceased television love interest.

He wrote on Sunday afternoon: 'May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul. 

'I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin.' 

The eulogy came after the news that Moran, who shot to fame playing teenager Joanie Cunningham, died at the age of 56 in Indiana on Saturday, likely of complications from stage four cancer.

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Scott Baio is pictured here giving the camera a 'thumbs up' along with current US president Donald Trump
Baio portrayed Charles 'Chachi' Arcola on 'Happy Days'

Scott Baio, pictured at left with Donald Trump and at right on 'Happy Days' with Erin Moran, wrote in a tribute to his deceased former co-star: 'May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul. I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin'

Scott Baio, pictured at the Republican National Convention in July 2016, wrote a tribute to his former 'Happy Days' co-star on Sunday

Scott Baio, pictured at the Republican National Convention in July 2016, wrote a tribute to his former 'Happy Days' co-star on Sunday

Happy Days actress Erin Moran spent her final days reportedly broke and homeless
She was found dead aged 56 of a suspected herion overdose in Indiana on Saturday afternoon

Happy Days actress Erin Moran spent her final days reportedly broke and homeless. She was found dead at the age of 56 in Indiana on Saturday afternoon

Baio's tribute comes following eulogies from other co-stars including Henry Winkler and Ron Howard

Baio's tribute comes following eulogies from other co-stars including Henry Winkler and Ron Howard

Her fellow co-stars including Henry Winkler and Ron Howard were quick to pay tribute to the actress who spent her final years in an apparent downward spiral after it was reported she had squandered away her money and was without a permanent place to live.

Actor Winkler even tried to help Moran nab her a spot on his show Arrested Development as it emerged she had been bouncing around motels after a drunken brawl with her mother-in-law in 2012.

Winkler, who played Arthur ‘Fonzie’ Fonzarelli in the show, tweeted just moments after the death was announced: 'OH Erin, now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth, Rest In It serenely now, too soon.'

Howard, who played Richie Cunningham, tweeted a tribute to his on-screen little sister, saying: 'Such sad sad news. RIP Erin. I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens.' 

Child actor advocate Paul Petersen commented on the heartbreaking loss and said on Sunday that his team did its best with the actress but she 'ran from the help.'  

Her troubles were not ignored by her fellow childhood actors, as advocate Petersen said 'Erin had friends and she knew it' and they 'were actively reaching out to Erin in the last week of her life.'

Erin Moran as Joanie Cunningham in 1974
Erin Moran and Scott Baoi in 1981

Moran was remembered by former co-stars and on social media for the feisty and youthful character that she played in Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi. She is pictured at right with Baio

Moran's costar Henry Winkler (right) heard about her troubles and tried to get her on his show Arrested Development. Happy Days was one of the most popular sitcoms of its time and started in 1974 and ran for almost a decade

Moran's costar Henry Winkler (right) heard about her troubles and tried to get her on his show Arrested Development. Happy Days was one of the most popular sitcoms of its time and started in 1974 and ran for almost a decade

Winkler led the tribute to his former Happy Days co-star Erin Moran and said she would 'finally have the peace [she] wanted so badly' 

Winkler led the tribute to his former Happy Days co-star Erin Moran and said she would 'finally have the peace [she] wanted so badly' 

Howard also tweeted a tribute to his on-screen little sister, saying: 'Such sad 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 also tweeted a tribute to his on-screen little sister, saying: 'Such sad sad news. RIP Erin. I'll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up tv screens'

Moran spent her final days reportedly broke and homeless after she was kicked out of her mother-in-law's trailer park house in a drunken brawl.

Authorities found Moran’s body in Indiana following a call about an ‘unresponsive female about 4pm Saturday.

A source told DailyMail.com Moran, who lived in a trailer park in New Salisbury, Indiana, died of a suspected heroin overdose.

A Burbank, California native, Moran began acting in TV and movies before she was 10 years old. She was just 14 when she signed on to play Joanie, the feisty little sister of Ron Howard's character Richie Cunningham, on Happy Days.

She became a household name as a result of her performance on the show, which started in 1974 and ran for almost a decade.

She continued the role in 1982 in the short-lived spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi, alongside Scott Baio, until it was canceled the following year.

Moran was just 14 when she signed on to play Joanie, the feisty little sister of Richie Cunningham on the popular sitcom 

Moran was just 14 when she signed on to play Joanie, the feisty little sister of Richie Cunningham on the popular sitcom 

1979 Erin Moran
Erin Moran in a shot for Happy Days

Moran continued her sitcom role in 1982 in the short-lived spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi, alongside Scott Baio, until its cancellation the following year

Moran is pictured bottom left with the rest of the Happy Days cast. She shot to fame in that role throughout the 70s and 80s before her career essentially stalled 

Moran is pictured bottom left with the rest of the Happy Days cast. She shot to fame in that role throughout the 70s and 80s before her career essentially stalled 

More of her former co-stars commented after hearing about her tragic death. Anson Williams, who played Warren 'Potsie' Weber on the show told ABC 7: 'Erin was a person who made everyone around her feel better. She truly cared about others first, a true angel. I will miss her so much... she is in God's hands'. 

Don Most, who starred alongside Moran as Ralph Malph on the hit sitcom, said: 'She was a wonderful, sweet, caring, talented young woman... A very painful loss.'

After Joanie Loves Chachi, Moran's career essentially stalled, with the exception of several television guest spots, and an appearance in the 2007 independent comedy feature Not Another B Movie.

Moran and her husband were understood to be living off a dwindling sum of money which was the result of a payout springing from a lawsuit filed by several Happy Days cast members in April 2011.

The actress and three of her Happy Days co-stars, Don Most, Anson Williams and Marion Ross, plus the estate of Tom Bosley, who died in 2010, filed a $10 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against CBS, which owns the show.

The suit claimed cast members had not been paid for merchandising revenues owed under their contracts.

In July 2012, the actors settled their lawsuit with CBS. Each received a payment of $65,000 and a promise by CBS to continue honoring the terms of their contracts.   

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Erin Moran's Happy Days co-star Scott Baio pays tribute

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