Cindy Williams, ‘Laverne & Shirley’ star, dead at 75


Cindy Williams, a feisty actress best known for playing the bubbly Shirley Feeney on the beloved sitcom ‘Laverne & Shirley,’ her family provided to CNN A statement was made, which has since passed away. She is 75 years old.

Williams’ children Zach and Emily Hudson said Williams died after a brief illness, according to a statement from Williams’ children Zach and Emily Hudson, which was provided to CNN by family spokesperson and Williams’ personal assistant Liz Kranis network.

“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, leaves us with insurmountable sadness that we cannot truly express,” their statement read. “It has been a joy and a privilege to know and love her. She is unique, beautiful, generous, with a great sense of humor and a sparkling spirit that everyone loves.”

Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams in a 1979 episode

Williams’ work spanned six decades, but it was her role on the “Happy Days” spinoff “Laverne & Shirley” that made her famous Loved by millions and made her a household name.

In the series, she starred opposite the late Penny Marshall as one half of a dynamic duo of friends whose adventures powered the show, which ran from 1976 to Eight seasons aired in 1983.

Williams was born in Van Nuys, California, and her interest in acting throughout high school led her to study theater at Los Angeles City College, according to a biography provided by her family. Some of Williams’ first professional acting credits included a three-episode arc on the 1969 series “Room 222,” as well as appearances in the early 1970s on other shows such as “The Nanny and the Professor” and “Love, American Style.” “.

Williams went on to become a prolific television and film actor, appearing in dozens of titles. But it wasn’t until her debut as Shirley Feeney in “Happy Days” in 1975 that her career began to take shape.

The lighthearted “Laverne & Shirley” proved a ratings hit and was nominated for six Golden Globes, including two for Best Comedy Series and one for Williams for Best Actress in a Comedy.

Williams also appeared in several standout films. Most notably, she starred in George Lucas’ 1973 film American Graffiti, which earned Williams a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The film, about a group of friends who spend a wild night together before college, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, at the 1974 Academy Awards. Williams also starred in George Cukor’s critically acclaimed 1972 film “Traveling with My Aunt” and director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 “The Talk” ( The Conversation).

(From left) Ron Howard and Cindy Williams in a 1973 promotional photo for

Williams was also an accomplished stage actress with a long list of productions. Last year, she took part in her one-man show “Me, Myself and Shirley,” sharing stories throughout her career on a national tour. She has at least a string of dates scheduled later this year.

After news of her death broke, Williams’ friends and fans took to social media to pay tribute to the late actress, who left a legacy of laughter.

happy hour star and film director ron howard tweets Williams’ “unpretentious wit, talent, wit and humanity influenced every character she created and the people she worked with,” going on to say the two worked together on six different projects. “I’m lucky,” he added.

Henry Winkler, who played Funkie in ‘Happy Days,’ called Williams ‘a fine and talented man’ Twitter.

“Oh, how I love Cindy Williams,” Yvette Nicole Brown teamed up with Williams in 2016 when she guest-starred on CBS’s “Strange On an episode of The Odd Couple, she shared Twitter. “She’s as cute as I’ve always imagined.”

actor jason alexander wrote Twitter: “I don’t know Cindy Williams, but I really love her writing, especially the quirky, happy fun of watching her in LaVine and Shirley’s days. I pray she’s doing well, and My sympathies go out to those who knew and loved her.”

The Williams children added in their statement that they were proud of their mother for many reasons — “her lifelong mission to save animals, her prolific art, her faith” — but “most importantly Yes, she has the ability to make the world laugh!””

“Hope everyone can keep laughing because she’s going to want it,” the statement said. “Thank you for loving our mom and she loves you too.”

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