Scott Baio had a blunt response to former “Happy Days” co-star Erin Moran’s death on Monday, telling “The Bernie and Sid” show on WABC radio: “For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die.”
His comments came two days after Baio, who also starred opposite Moran on spinoff hit “Joanie Loves Chachi,” offered sympathy over his co-star’s death at 56 in a heartfelt Twitter post, saying: “May people remember Erin for her contagious smile, warm heart, and animal loving soul. I always hoped she could find peace in her life. God has you now, Erin. My sincere condolences.”
However, in his radio interview Monday, the 56-year-old actor said he was a “little shocked but not completely shocked that this happened” after news broke Saturday that Moran had died in her in Indiana home.
The official cause of death was confirmed on Monday as “complications of stage 4 cancer.” However, the late actress had a battled with drug dependency and depression for many years. Toxicology test results are still pending, but no illegal narcotics were found at her home.
Having been familiar with the dark side of Moran’s life, Baio drew his conclusion of what might have led to her premature death.
“My thing is, I feel bad because her whole life, she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content. For me, you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die,” he continued.
“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,” Baio told the radio hosts. “I’m saddened by what happened. I don’t know if it was drugs that killed her, I read one report said it might have been and I hope it … I don’t know what I hope. It’s what it is. What can you do?”
The onscreen couple began working together in 1977 when Chachi was introduced on “Happy Days” as Fonzie’s younger cousin, but Baio said he had not seen Moran recently.
“She was just an insecure human being and fell into this world of drugs and alcohol. Again, I don’t know if that’s what killed her, I’m sure it was a culmination of years and years of doing it that might have had something to do with it. She just never found her way,” he said, revealing that he had tried to get her help many years ago.
“How do you help somebody that doesn’t want to help themselves?” he asked rhetorically. “You try a couple of times and if they don’t want the help, I gotta go, sorry.”
Moran was found unresponsive in her Corydon, Indiana, home on Saturday. After losing her Palmdale, California, house to foreclosure in 2010, according to TMZ, she moved in with her mother-in-law in a Corydon trailer park and was later a long-term resident at a local Holiday Inn.
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