Happy Days star Erin Moran — aka Joanie Cunningham — died on Saturday leaving behind plenty of questions as part of a mysterious tale of what went wrong in her years away from Hollywood. She was 56.
Unlike many TV stars from the past, she signed plenty of autographs for card companies that collectors can find perhaps more easily in than some of her regular cardboard and it all came in the last decade of cardboard that saw a boom in non-sports releases.
Moran appears on just under 70 different cards from several companies — Panini America, Leaf Trading Cards, Upper Deck, Razor and Donruss/Playoff — and roughly 50 of those are certified autographs. While a number of them are not high-volume cards, it’s a bit unusual to see that flip-flop on signed vs. unsigned — most celebs have plenty of unsigned cards and fewer inked cards.
Her earliest autographs are in the 2008 Upper Deck Spectrum release’s Spectrum of Stars celebrity inserts, while most of her autographs are found in the 2009 and 2011 Americana releases from Panini and 2011 and 2012 Pop Century releases from Leaf.
She also signed cards in tandem with other Happy Days stars — Anson Williams, Ron Howard and Henry Winkler — and a few feature inscriptions specific to her biggest role.
“Such sad sad news. I’ll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better, getting laughs and lighting up TV screens,” said Howard, her TV brother, on Twitter.
Happy Days aired for a decade — 1974 to 1984 — with 255 episodes telling the tale of the Cunningham family in the 1950s. It also spawned three spin-off shows, Joanie Loves Chachi, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.
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