The coroner reportedly says “Happy Days” actress Erin Moran died of complications from cancer and cancer alone. That’s in line with what her husband said in an open letter written shortly after her death on April 22 at age 56.
Tests showed “no illegal narcotics were involved in her death,” according to an autopsy report obtained by TMZ on Tuesday from the coroner’s office in Harrison County, Ind.
Moran struggled with substance abuse earlier in her life, and media assumptions about her cause of death were amplified by a comment from Scott Baio during an early morning radio interview April 24.
When Baio learned his former costar had been battling cancer, he fell all over himself trying to set the record straight.
“I was asked ONLY about Erin’s troubled past due to drug & alcohol abuse. I was still upset and said I felt that living that kind of a lifestyle will catch up with you and nothing good would come of it,” he said on Facebook. “THIS WAS BEFORE THE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS ANNOUNCED STATING STAGE 4 CANCER.”
One of the former child star’s brothers, Tony Moran, told the Sun on May 30: “My first thoughts were she must have had a heart attack caused by years of substance abuse. She has always battled demons and in recent years things have gone from bad to worse.”
In reality, as described by her husband, Moran had discovered last December that she had squamous cell carcinoma of the throat. After undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, by April she could no longer speak, eat or drink. She had a feeding tube.
Baio posted the open letter from Steve Fleischmann, Moran’s husband of nearly 24 years, on his own Facebook page April 25. “It got so bad so fast,” Fleischmann said.
“The coroner told me it was really really bad. It had spread to her spleen, she had alot of fluid in her lungs and part of her brain was infected,” Fleischmann wrote. “The coroner said even if she was in the hospital being pumped full of antibiotics she still would not of made it. He said it was the…