According to a statement from her family, actress Cindy Williams passed away last week (Wednesday, January 25) after a brief illness.
She passed away at the age of 75 and was best remembered for her role as Shirley Feeney on the sitcom Laverne & Shirley.
According to a statement from her children, “the departure of our wonderful, humorous mother, Cindy Williams, has given us incomparable pain that could never properly be described.”
We have enjoyed and valued the opportunity to know and love her. She was exceptional, lovely, giving, and loved by all. She also had a wonderful sense of humour and a sparkling spirit.
Perhaps not unexpectedly, celebrities and Williams’ former coworkers are now expressing their sorrow at her passing on social media. Among them is the well-known Ron Howard, who co-starred with her in the movie American Graffiti.
Williams had a career spanning around six decades by the time of her death. Although she has a long list of credits, it was certainly her role on the “Laverne & Shirley” spin-off of “Happy Days” that made her a household figure.
Overall, the sitcom received six Golden Globe nominations and did extremely well in the ratings. One of those nominations, for best actress in a comedy, was Williams’ own doing.
Additionally, the actress starred opposite Ron Howard in the iconic movies The Conversation (1974), Travels with My Aunt (1972), and, most notably, American Graffiti (1973).
In fact, Howard described himself as Williams’ close friend and how her loss had come as a surprise.
The news of Cindy’s passing was shocking. Howard recalled her “life light and her vitality.”
“I last saw her a year ago at a gathering in Palm Springs, and I could still see the glitter in her eyes. It’s quite difficult to think of her being gone.
The star of The Andy Griffith Show continued by recalling how Williams had instructed him on how to kiss in preparation for his role in American Graffiti; the two actors then played each other’s love interests in Laverne and Shirley.
For a period of four or five years, Howard recalled, “we were cast together in a variety of projects, including The Migrants, a dramatic TV film based on a Tennessee Williams play, in 1974. Together, we had a particular synergy. She was 24 and I was 18 when we filmed American Graffiti, but we acted as boyfriend and girlfriend.
“Cindy wanted to be remembered for the variety of personalities she created, with their various tones and styles,” he said in conclusion. She looked up to Carol Burnett for having these traits. Despite having so much potential, Cindy didn’t participate in any “Hollywood traffic” and instead focused solely on her profession.
Henry Winkler, another well-known Hollywood actor, expressed his condolences for Williams’s demise by praising her.
Cindy has been my friend and professional coworker ever since I first met her in 1975 on the set of Happy Days, according to Winkler. I have never once been in her company when she wasn’t polite, kind, and nice.
“Cindy had unbounded talent. No genre was too difficult for her to master. I’m so glad I got to know her.