Erin Moran, and other celeb deaths that got to you
Happy Days was a long ago sitcom about and even longer ago time when everything seemed less serious and more fun. A sitcom from the 70's that was all about the 50's, before my time but still cool to watch these more innocent times. The most innocent character of all was Richie Cunningham's little sister Joanie played by Erin Moran. She played the part perfectly.
After Happy Days then Joanie Loves Chachi, she took very few acting roles over the years so it was easy to have the only memory of her be as her younger self. She was 56 years old when she died this weekend. Police were called about an unresponsive woman, and she was shortly after pronounced dead. Now an autopsy has revealed she was suffering from stage IV cancer, though it was not revealed what kind.
There are certain celebrity deaths that shock us because they died too young, like River Phoenix or Heath Ledger. Others shocked us for they were around so long and were so old it seemed impossible to think they could ever not be there, like Don Rickles. Some are simply sad for their tragic nature, like Patrick Swayze, or a different type of tragic as with Chris Farley or Amy Winehouse. Some are simply noteworthy, while some get to us on a deeper level. Sometimes we don't even truly know why. I remember listening to this very radio station before I ever first worked here and finding out that Jim Henson the Muppets creator died. It was odd how choked up I got. I never considered myself some huge fan of his work, yet hearing he was gone made me think of Sesame Street and little kids everywhere and a certain innocence to what he offered.
So with the death of Erin Moran we thought we'd ask our listeners which celebrity deaths got to them the most. These were some of their answers.
Steve, and later Don backed him up on it, called in to say Robin Williams' death got to him the most. Like a lot of us, he never knew of Robin's depression and could barely accept that such a larger than life figure could leave us that way.
Sienna called to say seeing Joe Biden's reaction to losing his son was enough to make her cry.
For Michelle it was Whitney Houston. She remembers her most for her amazing rendition of the National Anthem, and recalls the sincerity of all the people who spoke at her funeral service which was televised live.
Meghan says Patrick Swayze's passing bothered her the most. She wasn't even sure why, but my guess it's because for a guy who seemed so physically fit and full of life there seemed to be a certain unfairness to the pancreatic cancer that took him.
Carol offered one we had to think about. A character actor by the name of Michael Jeter. Something clicked and I remembered he was the guy who played the silly Mr. Noodle in the Elmo bits on Sesame Street, but his credits included "The Green Mile", "Jurassic Park", and "The Polar Express".
Bill called to say his was John Wayne, a man's man and symbolic of different times.
Lisa had Princess Di's death get to her the most. She said with all her charitable work and her love for her boys, there seemed to be something good that left the world when she went.