Erin Moran, who was best known for playing Joanie in hit US sitcom Happy Days, has died at the age of 56.

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US actress Erin Moran, best known for playing Joanie Cunningham in 1970s sitcom Happy Days, has died, aged 56.

Police said an emergency team in Indiana responded to a call on Saturday afternoon and found her dead, according to the BBC.

Moran also starred in the show’s spin-off series Joanie Loves Chachi, which began in 1982. She played the younger sister of lead character Richie.

erin moran, happy days

The cause of Moran’s death is not yet known.

Richie was played by Ron Howard, who shared his tribute to Moran over Twitter. He wrote: @RealRonHoward 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.

Henry Winkler, who played The Fonz in the series, also shared condolences on Twitter, writing: OH Erin… now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth …Rest In It serenely now.. too soon

Moran joined the Happy Days cast in 1974, at the age of 13.

She also made appearances in Murder She Wrote, Gunsmoke, Watermelon Man and My Three Sons. She also appeared as Sally Ann Harper in The Waltons

In recent years, she was reported to be living in an Indiana trailer park.

In 2010, she joined various Happy Days co-stars in filing a lawsuit against television network CBS, claiming they were owed money from merchandising revenues.

The suit was settled in 2012, with the actors each receiving a payout of $65,000 (£50,000).

They originally asked for $10m.

The cause of Moran’s death is not yet known.