Scott Baio didn’t mince words in discussing former “Happy Days” co-star Erin Moran’s death on the “Bernie & Sid” radio show Monday.
“For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die,” Baio said. “I’m sorry if that’s cold, but God gave you a brain, gave you the will to live and thrive, and you gotta take care of yourself.”
Moran, 56, was found unresponsive in her Indiana home on Saturday. It was no secret that she had a troubled past, but autopsy results, released Monday, showed she likely died from complications of stage 4 cancer. According to authorities, there was no immediate evidence that her death was a result of abusing drugs.
Perhaps realizing how his remarks sounded, Baio quickly tried to backtrack, noting that he wasn’t actually aware of how Moran died.
“And I don’t know if it was drugs that killed her,” he said in the interview. “I read one report that it might have been and I hope ... I don’t know what I hope.”
Baio played Moran’s love interest on the long-running sitcom “Happy Days” and on a spin-off series “Joanie Loves Chachi.” But more recently, Moran had been living in a trailer park with her husband, where she acted as a caregiver for her mother-in-law.
Other former “Happy Days” stars expressed their sadness over Moran’s death on social media.
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. https://t.co/8HmdL0JKlf?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000313— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) April 23, 2017
OH Erin... now you will finally have the peace you wanted so badly here on earth ...Rest In It serenely now.. too soon— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) April 23, 2017
Baio is no stranger to controversial comments. During the 2016 election, he made headlines with sexist remarks in defense of Donald Trump.
Before Monday’s interview, his Twitter account remembered Moran more kindly.