Erin Moran Wed Walmart Employee & Lost House after 1st Spouse Wanted Her to Be ‘Unrecognizable’

Erin Moran’s career in the entertainment industry skyrocketed after her outstanding performance in “Happy Days.” However, a few years later, she became destitute and homeless and eventually died without children. Read more about the actress.

American Actress Erin Marie Moran, born in Burbank on October 18, 1960, was one of the most recognized Hollywood stars in the ’70s. She graced the screen with multiple appearances, but her stint on the 1974 television sitcom “Happy Days” made her very popular.

In the series of eleven seasons, she took on the role of Joanie Cunningham. Moran featured alongside some of Hollywood’s best, including Henry Wrinkler, Ben Howard, Don Most, Marion Ross, Tom Bosley, Anson Williams, and many others. Let’s look at what happened to the cast during and after the sitcom ended.

Erin Moran on a scene of “Richie’s Flip Side,” 1975 [Left] | Erin Moran and her husband Steven Fleischmann at Paramount Studios/Stage 14 in Los Angeles, 2007 [Right] | Photo: Getty Images

“Happy Days” aired for a decade before it ended in 1984. The show brought the above-listed actors into the spotlight. However, it also paved the way financially for them. Reports from IMDb revealed that Most earned about $12,500 per episode.

After the show ended, Most, alongside a few of his co-stars, would become wealthy A-listers. As of December 2021, Most was said to be worth two two million dollars, Williams, $1.8 million, Ross, ten million dollars, Winkler, $30 million, and Howard, $160 million.

Don Most arrives at the 2nd Annual Hollywood Cares Poker Invitational at OHM Nightclub. | Photo: Getty Images


While her co-stars enjoyed life after “Happy Days,” Moran was not left out. Her accomplishments encompassed not only her professional life but her personal life.

A few years after the show ended, the late actress tied the knot for the first time with Rocky Ferguson — a marriage that remained unhealthy until it ended. In 2007, Moran opened up about her marriage to Ferguson and how unhappy she was. 

Erin Moran from the “Happy Days” Season 2 gallery on July 10, 1975. | Photo: Getty Images

While most wives are serenaded with love, the actress’s time with her ex-husband was filled with pressure. Moran told People that Ferguson wanted her to be unrecognizable to her fans. She added:

“He wanted me to lie in who I was, and if anyone recognized me to say no, I wasn’t. And that’s the pressure he put on me.”

Erin Moran poses for Walt Disney Television in 1983. | Photo: Getty Images


With marriage as loveless as theirs, it was only a matter of time before the duo separated. They finally called it quit in 1993. Shortly after their divorce, Moran found love again in the arms of a Walmart employee, Steve Fleischmann.

The duo first met on April 22, 1992, and on November 23, 1993, they got married. Moran and Fleischmann stayed married for twenty years, and until the former’s demise, they never had any children. Although the couple’s marriage seemed perfect, rumors in 2013 proved otherwise.

It was alleged that the actress wanted to split from her husband due to her sexuality. A source also claimed that Moran was gay.

Erin Moran during Halloween Extravaganza at the Chiller Theater in New Jersey, on October 28, 2006. | Photo: Getty Images

It was said that the actress drank too much at a gathering and was spotted making out with one of her female friends. According to the source, Fleischmann was infuriated by Moran’s actions, which led to a verbal altercation.

The allegations further noted that the actress stormed back to the bar and mocked her husband for working at Walmart. While these claims made the headlines at the time, to date, none of them is yet to be proven true.

Although Moran was childless, she died peacefully in her husband’s arms.

Erin Moran and Steve Fleischmann during LG Mobile TV Party in Hollywood on June 19, 2007. | Photo: Getty Images


In the latter years of her second marriage, Moran’s life was plagued with different tragic occurrences. The actress was poor, a drug addict, and an alcoholic.

Then, in 2017, she died without any money in a trailer park. Following her demise, the actress’s brother spoke to The Sun about the tragic life of his sister. He revealed to the outlet:

“Erin was a tortured soul who never recovered after Happy Days. Hollywood chewed her up and spat her out.”

Erin Moran at the launch party for DeeDee Bigelow’s episode on “Surreal Life” on March 14, 2007, in Los Angeles. | Photo: Getty Images

Tony also talked about Moran’s health and how she hid it from her siblings. The man said he did not realize his sister was sick, and when he found out about her health and death, he cried like a baby. He could not believe she was gone.


The story of how the once-great Moran and her husband became a pauper remains surprising to many people. To date, sole fans remain oblivious to what happened to the actress and her man. Here’s what happened:

After Moran and Ferguson’s marriage ended, the actress squandered her settlement money. She began experiencing personal and financial struggles, which did not end, even after her marriage to Fleischmann.

Actress Erin Moran poses for a portrait in circa 1980. | Photo: Getty Images

In fact, things became worse for the duo, and in 2010, they were forced to sell their home in Palmdale, California. After selling their house, the couple moved in with Fleischmann’s mother into a trailer park in Indiana.

However, things became even rougher than they were, and two years after their move, Moran and her husband became homeless. The actress was spotted moving from one cheap hotel to another in southern Indiana.

Erin Moran in North Hollywood, California on June 23, 2001. | Photo: Getty Images

She never recovered from the financial problems until her demise. Moran was confirmed dead on April 22, 2017, after being found unresponsive in her home in Indiana. According to the Harrison County Sheriff’s office, she died due to stage four cancer.

Although Moran was childless, she died peacefully in her husband’s arms. Fleischmann laid next to his wife, held her right hand with his left, and fell asleep. One hour later, he woke up to Moran’s dead body by his side.

He said cancer had spread to her spleen. In addition, Moran had lots of fluid in her lungs, and her brain was damaged.

Fleischmann relayed that the coroner informed him that his wife would not stay alive, even if she was in the hospital, pumped with antibiotics.

So, he thought it was best that Moran stayed with him and die in her sleep. The “Happy Days” actress will always be remembered for her time and impact in the movie industry. 

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