During this time, the lives of the actors have changed beyond recognition. The beloved Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler, lives much more calmly than his character, but is happy to literally melt when he feeds his grandson with a spoon.

The paths of “Happy Days” stars Henry Winkler, known as Fonzie, and Erin Moran, known as Joanie, diverged significantly after the series concluded.

While Winkler thrived in acting, prioritized his family, and embraced his roles as a devoted father and grandfather, Moran faced tumultuous times.

Moran, grappling with homelessness, illness, and childlessness, found comfort in her husband, who brought light and joy to her final days.

Erin Marie Moran was born on October 18, 1960, in Burbank, California, and was the second youngest of five siblings. Raised by her parents, Sharon and Edward, in North Hollywood, Moran’s early introduction to the entertainment industry began at the age of five with her first commercial appearance.

Throughout her childhood, Moran featured in various television roles before landing the role of Joanie Cunningham on “Happy Days” at the age of 13. Her endearing appearance, marked by freckles and charming dimples, contributed significantly to her becoming a household name during the show’s decade-long run.

However, Moran’s life off-screen was fraught with challenges. Raised in a troubled family environment, Moran found solace and stability on the set of “Happy Days,” where her co-stars provided the familial support she lacked at home.

In stark contrast, Winkler’s upbringing in Manhattan, New York, was marked by different struggles. Born on October 30, 1945, Winkler experienced a lack of affection and encouragement from his immigrant parents, who emphasized the importance of education but often resorted to harsh criticism.

Despite facing adversity, Winkler pursued a career in acting, eventually landing the iconic role of Fonzie on “Happy Days.” His success in Hollywood brought him financial security and personal fulfillment, culminating in a loving marriage to Stacey Weitzman and the joys of parenthood and grandparenthood.

While Winkler’s life flourished post-“Happy Days,” Moran’s journey took a darker turn. Hindered by personal and professional challenges, including typecasting and substance abuse, Moran struggled to find stability and fulfillment after the show’s cancellation.

Her later years were marked by financial struggles, homelessness, and health issues, including throat cancer, which she battled in silence. Despite efforts from her co-stars to offer support, Moran’s troubles proved insurmountable, and she passed away on April 22, 2017.

In the wake of her death, Moran was remembered fondly by her “Happy Days” co-stars and mourned by fans worldwide.

While her life may have been marred by hardship, Moran’s legacy endures through her contributions to television and the enduring impact she left on those who knew her.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2023/oct/13/henry-winkler-barry-happy-days-memoir-interview